Select Scudamore Surname Genealogy

Scudamore as a surname derived from the place-name of Upton Scudamore, a small village near Warminster in Wiltshire.  Scudamore here may have come from the Old English word scitemor meaning “one who lived by the moor.”

Ralph de Scudemer
lived around the time of William the Conqueror and held lands in Wiltshire and Herefordshire.  He was the first to assume the Scudamore name.

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Select Scudamore Ancestry

EnglandFrom Ralph de Scudemer came the Scudamores of Wiltshire and Herefordshire.  

.  His name appeared there in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Walter de Scydemore around the year 1140. Peter de Skydemore held the manor of Upton Scudamore in 1216, as did his descendant Peter Scuydemor who died in 1342.

However, their presence ended later in the 14th century, possibly as a result of the Black Death.  Some moved elsewhere in Wiltshire, some to Devon, while John Skydemore came to a sad end in London.  Nothing now remains of the Scudamore name in Wiltshire.

.  The first recording of the name here was Hugh de Scudimore in the 1167 Herefordshire pipe rolls. Scudamore descent here split into two lines, the older one based at Kentchurch and the younger one at Holme Lacy. 

The Kentchurch line was closer to the Welsh border, their lands were farmed by Welshmen, and they were more sympathetic to Welsh grievances.  These Scudamore with Catholic recusants in Elizabethan times but Parliamentarians by the time of the Civil War.  There followed:  
  • John Scudamore, a colonel in the Hereford militia, who was the Hereford MP from 1764 until his death in 1796.
  • two further Johns who were colonels in the Hereford militia.
  • and the line which later became Lucas-Scudamore.
The Holme Lacy line, which began with George Scudamore in 1419, had by contrast adopted a much more pro-English and anti-Welsh line.  John Scudamore then established himself in 1515 at the court of Henry VIII where he served as a gentleman usher for thirty years and grew wealthy.  His son Sir James was a gentleman usher with Queen Elizabeth.  Then came:
  • Sir John Scudamore who was made a Viscount in 1628 and entertained Charles I at Holme Lacy in 1645 (Holme Lacy was later plundered by the Parliamentarians).  
  • the heiress Frances Scudamore who inherited the estate in 1716 and married two men who adopted the Scudamore name.
  • while Sir Edwin Stanhope secured the estate in 1820, took the name of Stanhope-Scudamore, and his descendants were to hold Holme Lacy until 1909.
The Scudamores at Ballingham in Herefordshire were a branch of the family at Holme Lacy.  From Robert Scudamore, a rector at Stoke Edith in the 1660’s, came the Scudamores at Wye in Kent.  William Scudamore was a surgeon there, his son Sir Charles an eminent physician.  However, William of the next generation, born in 1812, spent his life in and out of debt.

“He spent his time travelling in various parts of England and on the Continent, never in trade or profession, but occasionally dealing in horses and selling horses on commission.”

He died abroad in Trieste in 1871.

Scudamore and Skidmore
.  Skydmore or Skidmore was a spelling variant to Scudamore.  Often it was found that some people were using the names interchangeably.  However, by the 16th century the shorter easier form of Skidmore was coming into more common usage as it began to spring up in areas outside of the old landowning families.

Thus Scudamore was still the main spelling in Herefordshire and nearby Somerset.  But it was the Skidmore spelling that had spread in larger numbers into the West Midlands and elsewhere.  By the time of the 1881 census Skidmore was outnumbering Scudamore in England by about seven to one overall.

Warren Skidmore's 1989 book Thirty Generations of the Skidmore/Scudamore Family in England and America covered both spellings.

Later Scudamores
. The Scudamore name could be found in the small village of Llangarron in Herefordshire from the 17th century onwards.

Geoffrey Scudamore
was a farmer there in the 1920’s and 1930’s who also busied himself in point-to-points racing.  He served with the RAF during World War Two and spent two years in a prisoner-of-war camp.  On his return, Geoffrey became a trainer, achieving a career-high in 1950 when his horse won at the Cheltenham Festival with his son Michael in the saddle.

Geoffrey was the progenitor of a remarkable Scudamore horse racing family:
  • his son Michael (1932-2014), winner of the Grand National in 1959
  • his grandson Peter (born in 1958), eight times Champion Jockey
  • and his great grandson Tom (born in 1982).
Their exploits were covered in Chris Cook’s 2018 book The Scudamores: Three of a Kind.

  Godwin Scudamore from Herefordshire departed for America as a young man in 1844 and farmed in Illinois.  He enlisted in the Unionist army in 1862.

“Godwin Scudamore was captured and placed in the notorious Libby Prison at Richmond where he was confined for nine months.  He with others then made a bold strike for liberty.  They managed to work a tunnel through under the walls of the prison.  On the night of February 9, 1864 they passed out and made good their escape.”

At the end of the Civil War, Godwin headed west with his family to California and settled in Scotts Valley where he farmed

Select Scudamore Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Scudamore Names

Ralph de Scudemer lived at the time of William the Conqueror and was the first to assume the Scudamore name.
Colonel John Scudamore
was the MP for Hereford from 1764 until 1796.
Michael Scudamore
from Herefordshire was a National Hunt jockey in the 1950’s and 1960’s who started a notable racing dynasty.  He was the father of jockey Peter Scudamore and the grandfather of jockey Tom Scudamore.
Richard Scudamore
from Bristol has been the Chief Executive of the English football Premier League since 1999

Select Scudamores Today
  • 500 in the UK (most numerous in Herefordshire)
  • 200 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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