Show ContentsSkillman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Skillman reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Skillman family lived in Norfolk where "this surname is derived from the name of an ancestor, 'the son of Spileman.' " [1] However, another source claims the name was derived from "a learned man but more probably either a man who works by spells, or turns, with another, or a worker of spells or charms. " [2] And yet another source claims that the name was for a "preacher or orator; one who entertained by stories, songs, buffoonery or juggling. " [3]

Early Origins of the Skillman family

The surname Skillman was first found in Norfolk but by the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain: John Speleman, Nottinghamshire; William Spelesman, Wiltshire; and Eustace Spileman, Oxfordshire. "There are nine entries of Spileman in the Hundred Rolls, representing five counties. " [1]

Kirby's Quest notes John Speleman and Roger Spileman in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.) [4]

Early History of the Skillman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skillman research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1214, 1495, 1544, 1495, 1491, 1562, 1641, 1581, 1495, 1544, 1594, 1643, 1598, 1679, 1594, 1643, 1626, 1588, 1606, 1663, 1645, 1648 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Skillman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Skillman Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Skillman include Speelman, Spellman, Spelman, Spilman, Spillman, Spillane, O'Spillane, Spilane, Spallon, Spollin, Splaine and many more.

Early Notables of the Skillman family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Spelman (1495?-1544), English judge of the King's Bench, born about 1495, was son of Henry Spelman, recorder of Norwich in 1491. "The Spelman family were of ancient descent, being sprung from Hampshire, where in the time of Henry III they held the manor of Brockenhurst; in the fourteenth century they appear to have settled in Norfolk, where they held the manor of Bekerton in the fifteenth century. " [5] Sir Henry Spelman (c.1562-1641) was an English antiquary from Congham, Norfolk, the eldest son of Henry Spelman (d. 1581), of Congham, and the...
Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Skillman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Skillman Ranking

In the United States, the name Skillman is the 15,339th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Skillman family to Ireland

Some of the Skillman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Skillman migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Skillmans to arrive on North American shores:

Skillman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Skillman who settled in Brooklyn, New York in 1664 and later ventured west to purchase 500 acres in what would later become the eponymous Skillman, New Jersey

Contemporary Notables of the name Skillman (post 1700) +

  • Melanie Soltysik Skillman (b. 1954), American bronze medalist archer at the 1988 Summer Olympic
  • Judith Skillman (b. 1954), American poet and the author, awarded the Eric Mathieu King Fund from the Academy of American Poets
  • Rebecca S. "Becky" Skillman (b. 1950), American politician, 49th Lieutenant Governor of the State of Indiana (2005-2013)
  • Rebecca Skillman, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 2008 [7]
  • James McKay Skillman, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for U.S. Representative from Michigan 17th District, 1952 [7]
  • Jacob C. Skillman, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Schoharie County, 1841 [7]
  • J. Hudson Skillman, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chenango County, 1877 [7]
  • Francis Skillman, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County 1st District, 1867-68 [7]
  • F. M. Skillman, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 12th District, 1859-60 [7]
  • Ernest Edward Skillman Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 2002 [7]
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 27) . Retrieved from on Facebook