This name SKELHORNE is of two-fold origin. It was one of those surnames based on a personal of physical characteristic of the original bearer, meaning 'one who had a large nose. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. It was also an occupational name derived from the German 'schilen' the name of a coin, so it meant a maker of coins. Most of the occupations or professions reflected in family names are those known in the small villages in Europe, or those followed in a king's or important noble's household, or in some large religious house or monastery. During the middle ages much of Europe was composed of small villages, and the occupations would be used to describe the bearer. The name was found in small numbers in Holland in the 13th century, and was brought into England by setters sometime during this period. The name is also spelt Skelen and Skilhorn. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Holland. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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