Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

2,374 total views, 3 views today




About the study

The Scotchmer One-Name Study started in the 1980s when my partner challenged me to find his Mother as he was brought up by Foster Parents and (as an adult) had never met his Mother. I bought my partner'€™s birth certificate and the search for his mother began by collecting every reference I could find in the hope that it would lead to her. Eventually, happily, she was found and contact was made.
I joined the Guild of One-Name Studies in approximately 1990 and the project has continued from there.

Variant names

I have registered Scotchmere, Scotchmoor, Scotchmur, and Scotchner as variants of SCOTCHMER although I have discovered over 30 variants altogether. A story I have been told is that within one Scotchmer family there was a disagreement and some members changed their name to Scotchmere.

I continue to be amazed at the variations I have found including, very recently, a letter to my son was addressed as Mr SCOTCHHAMMER!!! It is therefore not surprising that there were so many variants in the 19th Century and earlier.

Name origin

*The origin of Scotchmer is obscure although one meaning I have found is that it related to a long lost place near Thetford in Norfolk and is Anglo Saxon in origin.

*Another meaning which I heard a while ago and was confirmed recently is that the name relates to Scottish people who went to Framlingham and helped to build the Moat around the Castle ie 'Scotch' and 'Mere' (moat or lake).

*Another meaning I have come across recently (2011) is 'Famous Archer' and the name was Anglo Saxon. This meaning comes from a book called 'British Family Names-Their Origin & Meaning' By Rev. Henry Barber and was originally published in 1903. It is the only book I have ever found the name SCOTCHMER in.

*A meaning which makes sense to me is that Scotch means cut or line or notch as in the children's game 'Hopscotch' where they jump over lines in the ground. I am told that in Suffolk it was called 'Scotch Hobby'. ''Mere' in Middle English I am told means border or boundary and can be spelt 'Mer' or 'Meer'. Thanks very much to Andrew Scotchmer for the above new information.

Historical occurrences of the name

In 1849 James Thomas Scotchmoor was taken to Court by his 2nd and 3rd wives when they found out that he was still married to his 1st wife. According to the report of the case at the Old Bailey he had treated all his wives badly and stolen€™ from them.
He was sentenced to transportation for seven years for each count of bigamy.
James Thomas Scotchmoor was transported to Bermuda but was only there a short time as he received a pardon from the Governor (which was verified by London) for losing one eye and having partial sight in the other during an 'incident'. This must be the reason why he reappeared in London.
I have found him again in the marriage indexes three more times in the 1860€™s. He died in 1874 in the Plaistow area of Essex having married at least thrice more times!!!

Scotchmer occurs in the most unexpected situations-an internet search brought up Scotchmer Street in Melbourne Australia and the reason for the name is currently being investigated.

I am also told that at sometime in the past there was a racehorse named Scotchmer's Knob but I have not been able to follow that up.

Name frequency

 There are only 104 instances of Scotchmer in the 1881 England & Wales Census so in terms of a surname (and membership of the Guild of One-Name Studies) it is very rare.

Distribution of the name

In the 1881 Census (and all other 19th Century Censuses) the majority of the Scotchmer €˜families€™ were based in Suffolk with the main areas being Bury St Edmunds and Framlingham. There are a few in Essex, Middlesex, Surrey, Berks, Hants and the Isle of Wight with Scotchmur families at Hoo in Kent. Some of the people in the other counties either came from Suffolk or their parents were born in Suffolk.

There are families in Canada, USA, Australia & New Zealand the majority have links back to England (usually Suffolk). In Canada there are two separate families -one with links to Bury St Edmunds and the other with links to Framlingham. I am told that a few years ago there was a 'Scotchmer Family Roundup' at Bayfield Hockey Stadium in Canada and it was filled to capacity. Bayfield being the main area in Canada where Scotchmer families have lived.


I have a vast file of data including
* 1. GRO England & Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes from 1837 to 2004 (records to 1920 are in the Guild Archive)
* 2. Probate Indexes 1858 to 2004 (records to 1920 in the Guild Archive)
* 3. All the references from 19th Century Censuses for England & Wales
* 4. Parish Register entries and IGI Entries for England & Wales
* 5. Various records from USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand
* 6. Various English Historical Directories
* 7. Various Telephone Directories for England
*8. Compiled Trees and correspondence from various members of the Scotchmer 'Clan' around the world.

If you have an interest in the surname Scotchmer and variants please contact me and I will check my records.