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Surname Shackelford - Meaning and Origin

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Shackelford: What does the surname Shackelford mean?

The last name Shackelford is of English origin and is thought to come from the place-name ‘Shackleford’, though there are other proposed origins of the surname. Specifically, the place-name could have derived from the Old English term ‘sceacula’ which means a hunting bridle and ‘ford’ meaning a shallow part of a river that can be crossed on foot. This type of name was typically given to someone who lived near a shallow river that hunters used to herd their prey across. Alternatively, the surname could also have come from an Old English personal name such as Sceacol or Schackle.

The surname Shackelford is sometimes spelled Shackleford or Shackelford and is common in Southern United States, particularly in the Appalachian area. Throughout the United States, there are over 11,000 people who share the last name Shackelford, and the name has spread to other countries beyond the United States.

The motto of the Shackelford family is ‘Garde le Roy’, which translates to ‘guard the king’ in French. It is believed that this name was given to those of the family who served in the military, or who had been loyal servants of the Crown.

Overall, the last name Shackelford is of English origin and could refer to a person living near a shallow river, an Old English personal name, or a person who served as a loyal servant of the Crown. Though the exact origin of the surname isn’t known, the family lived in the Appalachian area and is remembered with the motto Garde le Roy.

Shackelford: Where does the name Shackelford come from?

The last name Shackelford is considered to be a relatively uncommon name today, although it can be found in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, the last name primarily originates from the Southern states of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama. A 2020 study revealed that approximately 48% of all recorded Shackelfords living in the US live in the South. The other 52% were spread across the rest of the country, with people bearing the name found in all but three states (Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Alaska).

American records from as far back as the 1700s indicate that Virginia was the first home of the Shackelford family in the US. The spelling of the name was slightly different at the time, though, going by the former spelling Shackliffe. Over time, the name has taken different spellings.

In the United Kingdom, the last name Shackelford is more commonly found in Scotland, with a 2020 study indicating that over 90% of all Shackelfords living in the UK reside in Scotland. The name is an ancient Scottish name that has been traced as far back as 1296.

Today, American spellings of the name are typically Shackliff, Shackloff, Shackleford, Shackelford, and so on, while in the UK, the last name is usually spelled Shackleford or Shackelford. It is also found in Ireland, Australia, Canada, and other countries.

Variations of the surname Shackelford

Shackelford is an Anglo-Saxon surname that found its way into many different spellings, variants, and surnames with the same origin. It is derived from the old English word sceac (or sceaca), meaning "bush".

The most common spellings of the surname Shackelford include Shackleton, Shacklett, Shackles, Shackliff, Shacklford, Shackleford, Shackford, Shakleford, Shackelton, Shacklait, Shacklefurd, Shackelforth, and Shackelfford.

One variant of this name is Shackleford, which is an Anglo-Norman name derived from the same root word as the original surname. Other variants include Shackelfelt, Shacklefelt, Shacklefalt, and Shacklefort.

There are also a number of surnames which, though not directly related to the Shackelford family, are often associated with it. These include Shacklady, Shackley, Schackleford, Schacklexford, Shackney, and Shakleford.

No matter how the spelling may have changed over the centuries, members of these families can trace their roots back to the same ancient source: the old English word sceac.

Famous people with the name Shackelford

  • T.J. Shackelford, American actor
  • Harriet Shackelford, American politician
  • Barry Shackelford, American actor
  • C.H. Shackelford, American educator
  • Jesse Shackelford, American football player
  • Tim Shackelford, actor and writer
  • Charles Shackelford, American actor and host
  • Jake Shackelford, American wrestler
  • Joel Shackelford, American preacher
  • Rufus Shackelford, American composer
  • Bradley Shackelford, American businessman
  • Parson Martin Shackelford, prominent Mormon
  • Drew Shackelford, American rock musician
  • Antoine Shackelford, American bodybuilder
  • Roy Shackelford, heavyweight boxer
  • Lamar Shackelford, American civil rights leader
  • Scott Shackelford, cybersecurity expert
  • Terese Shackelford, reality show contestant
  • David Shackelford, American music producer
  • Stephen Shackelford, American football coach

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