Recorded in a variety of spellings including Summerscales, Summerfield, Summersgill, Summerside and others, these are a series of English surnames which are believed to originate from now "lost" medieval villages. They are all locational, and probably from the north. Summerscales is known to originate from a former hamlet called Somerscales near Bolton Abbey, in the former West Riding of Yorkshire. The name has Norse antecedents being a development of the pre 7th century words 'sumar' meaning summer, and 'skali', possibly describing a sheltered area of uplands grazing. Summersgill refers to a sunny place in a valley or ghyll, Summerfield to a village which may have been on the "uplands" and only occupied in the summer months, whilst Summerside perhaps referred to a village again on the uplands, but facing south. As to why these place disappeared is conjecture, but it is known that the weather became appreciably colder in England between the 13th and 17th centuries, which killed off much of the hill farming in places like North Yorkshire and Dartmoor in Devonshire. The first known recording is that of Robert de Somerscales in the Yorkshire parish of Hazlewood in the year 1298, Leonard Somerside, also recorded as Sumerside, married Joane Lang at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 16th 1643, whilst in 1803 John Summersgill married Mary Phillips at St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster.
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