This very unusual surname is medieval Cornish origins. It is locational or residential and originates from any of the various minor places in Cornwall named from the term "skaw", meaning elder bushes, and the locational suffix "-es" to describe 'The place of'. Locational surnames were usually acquired by former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. However this is not so in Cornwall, where locational surnames actually identified where people lived.Not surprisingly this lead to much confusion on local identity, leading to the improvisation of Skuse, the butcher, Skuse, the baker, etc. Early examples of the surname recordings showing the development of the name include: Elizabeth Skuseof Somerset in 1578, Lawrence Scose also of Somerset in 1580, Johas Scouse of Cornwall in 1593, and Mary Skosse of Devonshire in 1634. The modern surname has a variety of spellings including Skuce, Scuse, Skuse, and Scouse, Skewes and Skewis. Early church register recordings include Philip Scouse, christened at Wendron, Cornwall, on January 30th 1698, whilst the first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Elizabeth Skewes, christened on June 13th 1567, at Ludgvan, Cornwall. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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