Skidmore and Scudamore

Family History

The website of the

Skidmore/Scudamore One-Name Study

and the Skidmore Family History Group




ITS DEVELOPMENT 11th - 16th centuries

The mound at Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire today - site of the motte and bailey castle defended by, amongst others, Ralph, the earliest Skidmore ancestor.

Photo by Colin Baldwin.

Ewyas Harold mound for Earliest Ancestor page.jpg

Our knowledge of the family in this period comes largely from the extensive research of

Warren Skidmore.


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.

3 in-depth works on


Some Notes on the Skidmore (Scudemer) Family in the 11th to the 14th Centuries in Southwest England

by Warren Skidmore 2010.

 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 Scudamores of Upton Scudamore:

A Knightly Family in Medieval Wiltshire, 1086-1382

by Warren Skidmore, 271 p. 3rd Ed. 2006.

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.

    Scudamore descendants of certain younger sons that came out of Upton Scudamore, Wiltshire

by Warren Skidmore 2012.

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.

From the descendants of these two brothers, the

PRINCIPAL BRANCHES of the Scudamore/ Skidmore family arise.

The first known use of the Scudamore stirrups on a seal found on an original charter at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

It belonged to Petri de Escudemor and was used on a charter dated 24 August 1323.

Drawing from the original made by Warren Skidmore.