24-07-05 The Scutt, Skutt, Scutts & Scudds family trees
“He, who takes no interest in the history of his ancestors, does not deserve to be remembered by his posterity”.
Search Scutt Southeast England
This is a serious attempt to catalogue all the known Scutt’s of Southeast England and eventually place them in their respective family trees. This is also the largest of the Scutt clusters in England, and is of direct Norman descendent; in fact they seemingly came from Saint Andre-de-Briouze in Normandy.
Search Scutt Northeast England & Anglia The older Norse name-forms of ‘Skeet’ or ‘Skeates’ are akin to Scutt.
Search Scutt Southwest England
Nevertheless, the old Scutt clusters that were originally concentrated in Devon, Shropshire, and also Pembrokeshire in Wales are from Irish descent and were bought in by the Normans to be settled near the Celtic border areas. The names ‘Scutt’ and ‘Scott’ are synonym in those areas. The Wiltshire Scutt's (exceptions) and thus the Berkshire ones are linked to the Southwest England Scutt's. In the aforementioned Wiltshire and Berkshire area the derived form ‘Scutts’ with that ‘s’ at the end first appeared and later ‘Scudds’.
The Scutt cluster in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are from Saxon, Dane, Jut and Norse descent. The earliest recording known to me is from 885 A.D. Centuries’ later, Dutch immigrants (org. Schutt) also entered this area and East Anglia. The largest number of Scutt’s in the U.S.A. is of Dutch origin but English and Swedish immigrants are represented there as well.
At the moment that this website was opened – 16th April 2001 – constructive contributions had already been received from over 60 different individuals. In 2005 more than two hundred people have now contributed. In the coming years about 10000 individual Scutt, Skutt, Scutts and Scudds will be added to this website but an 100% guarantee of accuracy cannot always be given where earlier dates are concerned. As this is an on-going process it is therefore hoped that by going on to the Internet medium, further contributions and amendments will be forthcoming.
Jimmy Scutt (Frederick James Scutt – b.1946 Littlehampton, West Sussex). Contact me (James F. Scutt)
N.B. “Sharing is contagious. Unless you tell me otherwise, sharing with me is assumed as permission to share with others. Much of the data I share is data others have shared with me and sometimes unverified by me personally”.
Thomas Scutt and Sarah Napper
Marriage Certificate, Pulborough, West Sussex, 17th May 1792.
(Photo kindly provided by Sue Young).
The genealogical path
Everyone that has wandered the genealogical path knows that it is riddled with potholes. An attempt is now made to explain some of the obstacles existing in County Records Offices.
Parish registers were started in England in 1538 when a law was passed ordering the clergy to record baptisms, marriages and burials. After the service on Sundays, they were to be written down in a book in the presence of the Churchwardens. Before this date there were no records, except when monks recorded the events for prominent families. However many churches didn’t commence with records until a further notice was sent out in 1558, and even then, many still didn’t comply. In 1597, Queen Elizabeth I decreed that all existing records should be copied from the beginning of her reign. The response was varied because of additional costs, others started with the 1558 records, some omitted large sections because of the immensity of the task, and some did not start at all. Some of the early 1538 records (re-written in 1597) still exist, but it is not unusual for the registers not to have survived, with some church records being destroyed by fire during the period of Civil War. Damage by dampness or even carelessness added to many others being lost, and it is quite common to find no preserved records for a parish until a much later date. The information contained in early registers is very basic indeed. Early parish registers are nearly always “collective” records, in that they contain records of baptisms, marriages and burials, in chronological order. In some parishes, this situation continued even up to at least the mid 1700’s. Eventually with the passing of time more information was recorded in the parish registers and in 1813 father's occupation and abode were added. It must also be noted that it was possible for a witness to be a minor.
Early baptisms often had no mention of the mother whatsoever as that information was not considered to be of any consequence. Later on, the mother's name began to be stated, and a common entry would have been, “John the son of John Scutt and his wife Mary was baptised”. In the case of the baptism of an illegitimate child, the mother’s full name would be stated, with various references such as “illegitimate”, “base”, “bastard”, “bbs”, or “bbd”, added. The general rule though was that an illegitimate child was baptised at a later date than a child born in wedlock. Unlike very early baptisms parish registers no longer included the names of Godparents. In 1813 pre-printed standard parish baptism register books were introduced, which resulted in records becoming more standardised. There was still no information though on the actual date of birth, although sometimes this information was added, especially when the baptism was not that of a child. The date of birth was gradually introduced to registers after about 1880. A difficulty often encountered in tracing descendents is the “Popular Deed Poll”. This meant that if someone let the majority of people call him or her by another name then that name became legal. (This is true of the writer of this article – I was born Frederick James Scutt but am now noted as James Frederick Scutt, even in my passport and on my tax-forms!).
Early marriages contained just the names of the bride and groom and the date of the marriage. Some very early registers of the 1500’s simply have an entry such as “John Scutt married his wife”. The exception being was when either or both the bride and groom were from a different parish than that where the marriage was being performed. Beware that the reference here is to the parish of residence and not the parish where a person was born, thus showing where the person was living at the time. In 1754 a pre-printed marriage register was used and the marriage registers started to display the signature of the clergyman performing the ceremony and witnesses and signatures were included. From July 1837 onwards (when civil registration of marriages began in England), it was possible to marry either in a Register Office, a Non-conformist chapel or a Catholic church that had been licensed for marriages. A new register book was used and included much more information than previous, with for example the age, occupation and abode of the bride and groom now being included (although it was common for a bride not to be in employment) with the father’s name and occupation also displayed, also if one was a bachelor, spinster, widow, or widower. In the early 1900’s a new factor appears with the possibility of divorce that accelerated in frequency after the Second World War. In the latter 1900’s a new social phenomena becomes apparent with many couples (with children) having a durable relationship though not legally married. Also under new Dutch law – I nowadays reside in Amsterdam – my two daughters will upon marriage automatically keep their Scutt maiden names unless they specifically request to use the name of their respective husbands instead.
Where burials are concerned, it was not uncommon in very early registers to record a wife’s burial as simply “The wife of John Scutt was buried”, without recording her name, though eventually she would be mentioned by name. For example, “Mary the wife of John Scutt buried the 18th of February 1697”. This would normally be interpretive that the husband John Scutt was still alive, though when a husband was buried, there was usually no reference to his wife, as in the following example “John Scutt buried (in Warnham) 12th of May 1702”. (His wife, Margaret nee Page being known from the probate). Another example is “Mary Scutt buried (in Pulborough) 22nd of January 1688”. This would normally refer to a single woman over the age of 21, but could be a widow as in this case and known from the probate. We can easily differentiate between the burial of a widow, and that of a wife whose husband is still alive as she would normally be referred to as “widow of ...” or “relict of ...” such as “Mary the relict of John Scutt buried 10th of September 1738” at South Stoke.
For a child under the age of 21 years the normal way of recording the death was usually as follows, “George the son of Clement and Sarah Scutt buried May 10th 1825. By this time, it was common to also record the wife's name when a child was buried. Nevertheless some burial registers were little more than a list of names though from 1813 onwards pre-printed books became available. Another pitfall is that one must be cautious about ages quoted in burial registers, as on occasion they could be wrong by a few years! There are alas enough examples whereby the parents name wasn’t added particularly if the child died before a baptism took place.
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William Scutt and Sarah Ann Gilbert
Marriage Certificate, Kent 23 Nov 1834.
(Photo kindly provided by Brenda & Bob Swann).