This is an occupatinal name, "the sheather" originally given to a maker of sword-slips. The name derives form the Olde English pre 7th Century "scaep" or "sceap" meaning "a case for a sword". The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 14th Century. An alternate spelling Shether appears in the 1379 Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire - "Johanna Shether". The name is spelt Sheather with the name Swordslipper being synonymous. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry le Schether(e). which was dated 1302, The Register of the Freemen of York City. during the reign of King Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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.