Skyrme family and one-name study website Guild of One Name Studies :: One-Name Study Reg. No. 6232

Variants of the name Skyrm(e). See also the related page on the distribution and frequency of the name.

variants of Skyrme

Main Variants

In earlier times surnames were not spelt in a consistent manner. Much depended on who was recording the name (e.g. parish clergyman, census enumerator). Over time as families became more literate, they were spelt more consistently, albeit not identically. The result is a number of variants which became stable by the 20th century. The main variants that are registered with the Guild of One Name Studies are:

Skyrme :: Skyrm :: Skyrmes :: Skirm :: Skerm

to which more recent research would add Skyrms, Skirme and Skerme. Throughout time, the name has often been spelt in official documents as heard, e.g. Scurm. These are called 'deviants' whereas a true variant is a spelling that is used over many years and often the way that individual (at least those who could write) would sign their name on official documents such a marriage certificate or will.

Whereas Skyrme is the most common variant world-wide, there are regional and national differences. Skyrm is the most common of these variants in the USA and is because of emigrants from Herefordshire where Skyrm is also quite common. Pembrokeshire is dominated by the Skyrme variant. Here Skyrmes might almost be considered a deviant since some of my own Skyrme family were recorded as such several times in the mid-1800s. However it does persist in a few UK instances today.

The variants Skirm and Skirme were found among early settlers in the USA and persists in the USA today but nowhere else. There are early 17th century references to Skirm, Skirme and Skerme in Lincolnshire (around Spalding and Wainfleet) so that could be where early immigrants to US came from. Skerm was also an early variant and a few people with the Skerme were found in USA censuses but on analysis these proved to be deviants of Skerm. In Canada the variant Skyrm is dominant, again because of immigrants from Herefordshire.

As research progressed it became apparent that there were other surnames with similar spellings. It has been suggested that these too are variants on the name Skyrme, and our ongoing research will try and identify if they are linked to the Skyrm(e) families already recorded. These variants are:

Skermer :: Skym

the latter being found almost exclusively in Wales in the UK, but in 1940 it has surpassed even Skyrm in the USA.

Changes over time

Using data from USA and UK censuses changes over time have been plotted. The chart at the top of the page shows the main variants Skyrm(e)(s) alongside the 4 others (Skirm(e), Skerm(e), Skermer and Skym).

Note - please don't treat the charts on this page as definitive. There have been many transcription errors on Ancestry so the absolute numbers must be treated with caution. But hopefully they do show general trends and give an overall feel.

The next two charts show all variants separately for the USA and UK. Again, data is taken from censuses. These are from 1840-1940 for the USA (there are no 1890 results since the records were destroyed in a fire) and 1841-1911 for the UK.

variants of Skyrme USA

variants of Skyrme UK


From all the data recorded in Excel, I have done pie charts for censuses at similar times, just over 100 years ago. The numbers are the number of individuals recorded in each census:

variants USA 1910   variants UK 1911