Skidmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Skidmore family

The surname Skidmore was 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]

Early History of the Skidmore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skidmore research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1409, 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Skidmore Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Skidmore family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Skydemore of Kentchurch, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1409; Sir John Scudamore, (1542-1623), listed in the Custos Rotulorum of Herefordshire in 1574; Sir James Scudamore (also spelled Skidmore, Skidmur or Skidmuer) (1568-1619), a gentleman usher at the court of Queen Elizabeth I...
Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Skidmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Skidmore family to Ireland

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 and printed products wherever possible.


United States Skidmore migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • Thomas Skidmore, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1643 [2]
  • Mary Skidmore, who landed in Maryland in 1658 [2]
  • Henry Skidmore, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 [2]
Skidmore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. W E Skidmore, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860 [2]

Australia Skidmore migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Skidmore Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Skidmore, (b. 1836), aged 27, Cornish agricultural labourer departing from Soton on 5th May 1863 aboard the ship "Caduceus" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 1st July 1863 [3]
  • Mrs. Mary Skidmore, (b. 1832), aged 31, Cornish settler departing from Soton on 5th May 1863 aboard the ship "Caduceus" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 1st July 1863 [3]
  • Miss Kate Skidmore, (b. 1862), aged 1, Cornish settler departing from Soton on 5th May 1863 aboard the ship "Caduceus" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 1st July 1863 [3]

New Zealand Skidmore migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Skidmore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Skidmore, who landed in Wanganui, New Zealand in 1843
  • Mr. Samuel Skidmore, (b. 1850), aged 23, Cornish labourer departing on 16th July 1873 aboard the ship "Adamant" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 17th October 1873 [4]
  • Mr. William H. Skidmore, (b. 1850), aged 23, Cornish brickmaker departing on 16th July 1873 aboard the ship "Adamant" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 17th October 1873 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Skidmore (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • Kelly Skidmore, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Florida, 2008 [5]
  • John I. Skidmore, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County, 1797-1801 [5]
  • Hoy B. Skidmore, American Democrat politician, Chair of Lewis County Democratic Party, 1955 [5]
  • Harry E. Skidmore, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Chenango County, 1922 [5]
  • Hamilton Skidmore, American politician, Postmaster at Leadsville, Virginia, 1847-48 [5]
  • Earl N. Skidmore, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Colorado, 1960 [5]
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Skidmore Motto +

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 God’s love.


Suggested Readings for the name Skidmore +

  • 2987 "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.

  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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