This unusual name is of Old Norse origin, and is an occupational surname describing someone who was a 'skinner' by trade, stripping the hide from various animals which was then used in the production of garments of fur, or to be tanned for leather. The modern surname can be found in the forms 'skinner', 'skynner', 'skyner' and 'skin', derived from the Old Norse word 'skinn', meaning 'hide, pett'. Interestingly, the Olde English pre 7th Century form of the word, 'scinn', produced the surnames 'shinn' and 'shinner', but these forms are much more rare than the original Scandinavian forms.Francis, son of Thomas Skyner, was christened on the 3rd September 1569 at Wintringham, in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Skynnere, which was dated 1263, in the 'Middle English Surnames of Occupation, 1100 - 1350', G. Fransson, (Sussex). during the reign of King Henry 111, known as the Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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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