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About the study
The Scarce One-Name Study was started in August 2013 after finding various unconnected lines of the surname had the same relatively uncommon Christian name of Gowen/Gawen/Gowing. The surname appears to have evolved into and from various spellings over the centuries including Scace, Scase, Scarse, Schase, Schace, Searce, Searse, Scearce, Scarf, Scarfe, Scrace, Scrace, Scarcey, Skers, Skeres along with others..
The goals of the One name Study are to:
Accumulate information to help with family history research
Create family trees and find connections between them
Provide information to help with brick walls
Try and sort out the surname variants
I have registered Scace as a variant but really could just as easily choose any of the above names. I may amend this in the future as I develop the study.
Scarce is an English surname. It would seem however many sources suggest it derives from the Olde Norse-Viking pre 7th century 'scarfs', meaning a vicious seabird and specifically a cormorant. Quite why anybody should be called 'cormorant' can only be left to the imagination, except that the medieval period when surnames were generally formed, was one of extremely robust humour, with little time for sensibilities. It can also be assumed that it would no doubt be regarded as complimentary to be called 'cormorant', whatever the implications. Another possible origin for the surname is locational, from a small group of island called 'the Scares', on the Solway Firth. However there is no indication in any known record, of these islands producing such a surname. Another possibility is that the name originates from a now 'lost' medieval village of which the only reminder in the 20th century is the surviving surname. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: Mary Scarce at St John's Clerkenwell on August 4th 1622
Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 – 2013.
England Wales Scotland Census (FMP)
Ireland Census 1821, 1851, 1901, 1911 - No occurrence
Very few Census records in Australia survive
New South Wales 1828 Census – No occurance
Births, Deaths & Marriages all Australia
The states of Australia have individual records. The below details are taken from indexes on Ancestry.com.
All Australia Birth Index 1788-1922
All Australia Death Index 1788-1922
All Australia Marriage Index 1788-1922
Distribution of the name
In the 1881 census the distribution of the name was - Suffolk (21), Sussex (7), Surrey (4), Kent (4), London (4) and Yorkshire (1)
Data collection is very much a work in progress. Core sources looked at so far include:
Find My Past
I am accumulating data for Scarce relating to Britain and Australia with a view to covering the USA etc eventually. Much of the English and Australian data is in family trees.
I would eventually like to have every person with the name Scarce included in a family tree so if your family includes the surname Scarce and you would like to share the tree please contact me.