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A family name that is sprinkled throughout my daughter-in-law’s ancestry is Scrimshire or Scrimshaw. It is an Anglo-Scottish surname of Old French origins. The derivations are from the French word “eskermir” meaning to fence or fight hand-to-hand. It was then transposed to the Middle English “skrymsher” from which the surname comes.

Fencing masters always found plentiful employment during medieval times although fencing schools were forbidden in the city of London due to their dangerous influence.

One of the first Scrimshires to arrive in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire England was Harrold who is recorded having purchased land and property there sometime in the 16th century. This land came as a direct result of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII and most of the land was previously divided between Lenton Priory and Swineshead Abbey.

Harrold  quickly established himself as a country squire and his offspring became notable figures in the area over the next two centuries, serving as Rector, Churchwarden, Constable and other key positions. But by the end of the 18th century, most of the Scrimshires had sold off their land and departed.

Now, the only remaining sign of their once formidable presence, is Scrimshire Lane, a relatively short stretch of road between Plumtree Road and Risegate. It represents one of the oldest named streets in the village.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website. And don’t forget to check out my recent TEDxEustis talk:  https://youtu.be/uYlTTHp_CO8

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