This unusual surname is of Northern English origin, and derives from the Old Norse byname "Skjote", meaning "Swift, Fleet". The name dates from the Scandinavian settlement of northern and western areas of England before the 10th Century. The personal name was recorded as "Scet" and "Schett" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and one Ricardus filius Schet was recorded in the 1166 Pipe Rolls of Norfolk. The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include Nicholas Sket, in the 1201 Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, and Robert Skeet in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk.The modern surname can be found recorded as Skeat, Skeate, Skett, Skeete and Sketh, and the patronymics include Skeats, Skeates and Sketts. Recordings from English Church Registers include: the marriage of John Skate and Hester Due on April 13th 1643, at All Saints, Wandsworth, London; the christening of Catharine, daughter of Benjamin Skate, on December 17th 1749, at St. Nicholas', Liverpool, Lancashire; and the christening of John, son of John Skate, on January 27th 1790, at St. Peter's, Leeds, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Sket, which was dated 1202, in the "Pipe Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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