This name SKILLICORN is of two-fold origin, it was one of those surnames based on a personal of physical characteristic of the original bearer. In this case, the name was 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 appears to have settled in the Lancashire area. The name is also spelt Skelen and Skilcorn. 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 rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Pears, County Lancashire, and Press in County York.
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