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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Skidmore family come from? What is the English Skidmore family crest and coat of arms? When did the Skidmore family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Skidmore family history?

The history of the Skidmore family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in the village of Fifield Scudamore or Upton Scudamore in Wiltshire. This place-name may have been derived from the Old English word scitemor which means one who lived at the moor.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Scudamore, Scudmore and others.

First found in Wiltshire where the surname could have been derived from one of two villages: Fifield Scudamore; or Upton Scudamore. Fifield Scudamore, also known as Fifield Bavan is a very small village and former civil parish that dates back to 1264 when Peter de Scudamore was Lord of the Manor. It was later renamed in 1463 as Fiffehyde Beaufaunt when ownership had passed to the Beaufaunt family. The latter village Upton Skidamore, was often spelt Upton Skidmore and by John Sexton's map of Wiltshire in 1610, it was listed simply as Upton. As far as the family records are concerned, this ancient Norman family held a family seat at Upton Skidamore and at Norton near Warminster, Walter de Scudamore being lord of the former manor in the reign of Stephen. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skidmore research. Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1542, 1623, 1574, 1568, 1619, 1601, 1671, 1650, 1697, 1673, 1679, 1684, 1716, 1705 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Skidmore History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 169 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Skidmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Skidmore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Skidmore or a variant listed above were:

Skidmore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Augustine Skidmore, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • Thomas Skidmore, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1643
  • Mary Skidmore, who landed in Maryland in 1658
  • Henry Skidmore, who arrived in Maryland in 1670

Skidmore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mrs. W E Skidmore, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860

Skidmore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Skidmore landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1843


  • Walter Dennis Skidmore (1903-1993), American basketball coach
  • Paul Skidmore (b. 1956), American retired professional NHL ice hockey player
  • Hubert Skidmore (1909-1946), American novelist
  • Louis Skidmore (1897-1962), American architect, recipient of the AIA Gold Medal
  • James Richard "Jimmy" Skidmore (1916-1998), English jazz tenor saxophonist
  • Jeffrey Skidmore (b. 1951), English artistic director of Ex Cathedra, a choral group based in Birmingham
  • Alan Skidmore (b. 1942), English tenor saxophonist
  • Christopher James "Chris" Skidmore (b. 1981), British politician and historian
  • Hugh Skidmore (b. 1990), Australian speedway rider


  • The Scudamores of Upton, Scudmore: a Knightly Family in Medieval Wiltshire, 1086-1382 by Warren Skidmore.
  • Skidmore: Rickmansworth, England-Delaware-North Carolina and West by Warren Skidmore.
  • Thomas Skidmore (Scudamore), 1605-1684, of Westerleigh, Gloucestshire, and Fairfield, Connecticut by Warren Skidmore.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Scuto amoris divini
Motto Translation: By the shield of Godís love.


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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.

Other References

  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Skidmore Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Skidmore Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 January 2015 at 10:18.

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