This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from a now "lost" place thought to have been situated near Thetford in Suffolk. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since the 12th Century, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which as eighth of the population perished, and to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land for sheep pasture during the height of the wool trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. The placename from which the modern surnames Scotchmer, Scotchmoor, Scotchmor(e) and Scottesmoor derive was composed of the Old English pre 7th Century elements "Scottas", Irishmen, and "mere" lake, mere. A number of placenames in East Anglian counties contain the element "Scott(as)", implying that there were numerous Irish settlements in that region. One Robert Scotchmer was christened at Hadleigh in Suffolk on June 8th 1596. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Skotismore (marriage to Agnes Craske), which was dated July 23rd 1542, at Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.