This surname SKYRME was an official name 'the skirmisher' a fencer. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Alexander I (1077-1124) king of Scotland, by special grant appointed a family to whom he gave the name 'Scrimgeour' for his valour in a sharp fight, to the office of hereditary standard-bearer. For his services in this office, Sir Alexander Scrymgeour was granted lands in Forfar in 1298, and became Constable of Dundee. Through marriage the family inherited the estates of the Weddernburn family in 1788, and it is under the surname Scrymgeour-Wedderburn that they hold the titles Earls of Dundee. The name of occupation refer directly to the particular trade or occupation followed by the first bearer of the name. These occupations can be divided into classes such as agricultural, manufacturing, retailing and so on. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today. Smiths, millers and wrights were indeed specialists, but even they would normally have their own smallholdings for growing crops and keeping a few animals. Others were simply designated as the servant of some person of a higher social status, as a maid or paron. Other records of the name mention Henry le Eeskirmessur, who was documented in County Yorkshire in the year 1273, and William le Shrymisur appears in County Salop in the same year. Abraham le Skirmisur appears during the reign of Henry III (1216-1272) and John le Eskermesour was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377).
In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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