The German word for "muddy place" is "schleich", and it is possible that this is the origin of Squelch. However, this is problematical as the surname is recorded some sixty years (see below) before the first known use of "squelch" as an imitative word describing "a walk through wet material, making a sucking sound". It is our opinion that the name was habitational, and did derive from some "lost" medieval spot called Squelch (or similar), this place being almost certainly in the south east of England, and probably being of Anglo-Saxon (German) origin. The spread of recordings in the English southern counties offers some confirmation, although nothing like Squelch appears in the medieval village list of the Royal Historical Monuments Commission. Examples of the surname recordings include: Dorothea Squelche, of Wotton Underwood, Berkshire, who was christened on September 16th 1619, and John Squelch, who married Mary Abbots at Kensington, London, on September 21st 1662. On October 10th 1774, in the reign of George 111 (1760 - 1820), John Squelch married Anne White at Wouldham, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Squelche, which was dated January 3rd 1566, christened at Bisham, Berkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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