This English habitation name of SKIDMORE, although possibly from the West County, is of uncertain origin, perhaps derived from the Old English 'scitemor' literally meaning the dweller at the fen or moor. Local names usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. A family of this name trace their descent from Ralph, who in 1086, held Opetone, County Wiltshire, later known as Upton Scudamore. His son, who died before 1148, was known as Reginald Escudemor. Other records of the name include Petrus de Skidemore, of County Wiltshire, who appears in the year 1273, and Walter de Scudamore and Walter de Skydemor, who were recorded in the year 1316. Later instances of the name mention Henry Scudamore and Joanne Howe, who were married in London in 1596. Mary, daughter of Thomas Skidmore was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1657. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared) and Edward 1. was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered a Kentchurch, County Hereford. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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