This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from an Old French word "escoute", a derivative of the verb "escouter", to listen, from the Latin "auscultare". The surname developed from the use of the Middle English word "scut", from the Old French source, as an occupational surname for a scout or a spy. The modern surname, which can be found as Scutter, Scudder and Skudder, has "scutt" as the root with the addition of the agent suffix "-er". In some cases the name may derive from a medieval nickname for a swift runner, from the late Middle English "scut", a hare. One John Skudder was an early emigrant to the New World, leaving London on the "James" in June 1635 bound for Virginia. Henry Skudder married Katherine Finch at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on November 16th, 1640. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is red, on a gold fess three silver pellets, in chief three silver cinquefoils. In Heraldry, gold denotes Generosity and Elevation of Mind, silver signifies Peace and Sincerity and red denotes Military Fortitude and Magnanimity. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Scut, which was dated 1183, in the "Norfolk Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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