This Scottish surname of SKUTT is 'commoner in Northumberland than in Scotland'. The first of the name on record appears to be Uchtred filius SCUT. He appears as a witness on an inquisition of Earl David, circa 1124. Roger le SCUT was documented in London in 1273. Magister Isaac SCUTT witnessed charters by Roger, Bishop of St. Andrews in 1202. Robert dictus Scut was baillie of the burgh of Dundee in 1348. Johannes SCUTT of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name is also spelt SCOT, SCOTT, SKOT, SKOTT and SKUTTS. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. A later instance of the name mentions Thomas SCUTT and Mary White, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1807. 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. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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