There are a few proven facts about Ralph [de Scudemer]. He was in Herefordshire before the Norman Conquest probably coming from France in the retinue of William fitz Osbern. He was undoubtedly a Breton or Norman as his Christian name and the names of his three sons testifies. He married the widow of Erkembald fitz Erkembald (by whom she had an older son Rainald) who then became the mother of Ralph’s THREE SONS REGINALD, WALTER AND HUGH. Ralph was an early undertenant of Alfred of Marlborough and also of William de Scohies (another important tenant-in-chief of the Conqueror). Ralph [de Scudemer] is mentioned four times in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was probably still living in 1100 but dead by 1120. He did ward at the castle of Ewyas Harold on the Welsh border for his lands in Wiltshire and Herefordshire.
An excellent general overview of the earliest ancestor Ralph, mentioned 5 times in the Domesday Book. He held lands in both Wiltshire and Herefordshire and this paper outlines his descendants in both counties as far as the 14th century.
The book describes Ralph, the earliest Skidmore ancestor and his family. The caput of the Scudamore fief was Upton Scudamore in Wiltshire (held by Ralph in 1086) and the book describes the family at Upton Scudamore in detail.
This account supplements Warren’s book The Scudamores of Upton Scudamore (2nd edition, 1989) which dealt with the senior branch of the Scudemers from the Norman conquest down to the death of Sir Peter (IV) Scudamore, the last of his name at Upton Scudamore. He died there in 1382 leaving a daughter but no male heir. However there were a number of persons of the name who came out of Upton then living who had gone elsewhere. Warren describes the Skydemores at Bratton Clovelly, Devon, at Wellow, Somerset, at Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell in Gloucestershire.
Ralph’s lands descend to his two sons, Reginald and Walter.
After a first division very early in the 12th century the lands which descended from Reginald (in Wiltshire) and Walter (in Herefordshire) were never again shared among siblings, and went always to the eldest son and heir.