Recorded in a wide variation of spellings including: Skeffington, Skevington, Skivington and Skiffington, this is an English locational surname.

The family motto is "Per augusta ad augusta" or "Through dangers to honor" [ | Coat of Arms | Family Crest | Family Name History ] ]

It is of Olde English and Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins, the parish and village of Skeffington being in the county of Leicestershire. According to Ekwalls famous book on English place names, the derivation is from 'Sceaft - ing - tun', meaning the place of the Sceaft tribe. 'Sceaft' itself may be a derivative of 'sceap', meaning sheep, and therefore refer to a tribe who were famous for their sheep breeding. The village is first recorded in the year 1086 in the famous Domesday Book, and then in the spelling of 'Scifitone' becoming 'Sceaftinton' in the year 1192.

The surname is slightly later and being locational is usually 'from' name. That is to say that the nameholders originally gained their name either because they were the local lords of the manor of Skeffington, which may apply in the first recording shown below, or more likely not because they lived in Skeffington, but because they had done previously. The Skeffingtons were seated from 1100 AD, with the family becoming the Viscount Masserenees in 1665 .

Early examples of the surname recording include: David de Scheifinton in the 1273 Hundred rolls of Leicestershire; William Skevington of Staffordshire in the 1578 register of students at Oxford University and William Sheffington, a witness at the church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, in 1742 . [ [ SurnameDB: Skivington surname meaning ] ]

Some of the first American settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Arthur and Mark Skeffington settled in Philadelphia in 1851; Felix Daniel, James John, Michael and Peter Skiffington arrived in Pennsylvania in 1849; Daniel, Felix, James, John, Michael, and Peter Skiffington settled in Pennsylvania between 1822 to 1866. In Newfoundland, George settled in St. John's in 1703.

Currently most Skivingtons in the UK can be found in Scotland with the largest concentration in the Greater Glasgow area, while abroad the largest concentrations can be found in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand and New Hampshire in the USA. [ [ National Trust Names ] ]

Famous Skivingtons

*George Skivington; a player for the London Wasps Rugby Union team. []
*Francis Sheehy-Skeffington; a pacifist arrested and murdered during the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, his killer Captain Bower-Colthurst was discharged from the army and sent to Broadmoor. []
*Arthur Skeffington; a Labour Party Member of Parliament for Lewisham West from 1945 to 1950. []
*Sir William Skeffington; Lord Deputy of Ireland from 1534 to 1536. []
*The Viscount Massereene; peers with the surname Skeffington who also held various Lord Lieutenant positions in Ireland. They sat in the House of Lords until 1999. []
*Leonard Skevington; Lieutenant of the Tower of London who invented the torture device known as the Scavenger's Daughter or Skevington's Gyves. []
*Edward "Ned" Skivington; Member of the Locust Gap Molly Maguires who helped plan the infamous Alexander Rea murder. []


Taken from except where noted

William "Skip" Skivington; Member 101st Airborne who fough at Bastogne in 1944. [ [ 403 Forbidden ] ]

Sgt. William E.Skivington Jr; Son of Bill "Skip" Skivington; an American Marine of Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 13th Marines, 1st Marine Division, based at Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, Hawaii killed in action in 1968 during the Vietnam war. His remains were excavated in 2006 in Vietnam and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honours. [ [ Bio, Skivington, William E. Jr ] ]

Private Edward Skivington; Member of the New Zealand Medical Corps, killed in 1917 during WW1 and buried in Bailleul.

Private Patrick Skivington; Member of the Highland Light Infantry, killed in 1917 during WW1, no known grave but listed at the Arras Memorial, bay 8.

SSgt Thomas L Skivington; Pennsylvanian killed in 1944 during WW2, buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial.

Private William Skivington; Member of the 1st Bn. Cameronians, killed in 1918 during WW1, buried at the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Fictional Character

*Job Skeffington; a fictional banker played by Claude Rains in the movie Mr. Skeffington. []


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