The origin of the name Scudder is unknown. But Scudders like to believe that their name comes from the nautical term “Scud” – to sail full speed before the wind”.
Therefore one who scuds is a Scudder.
Other possibilities include:
- Scudder being a derivation from the Dutch, “Schutter”, shooter or marksman. Which may explain the 3 cannon balls on the crest.
- Old English “Scutt”, which was an occupational name for a scout or spy. Also nickname for a swift runner.
Another less-likely definition is that the name derives from the Latin Scutari — shield bearer.
According to Burke’s General Armory, the coat-of-arms belonging to the Scudder Family is described as follows:
Gules on Fess or Three Pellets, in Chief as many Cinquefoils Argent.
Gules – or red denotes military fortitude and magnanimity. It is also the “Martry’s Color”.
Fess – A band, borne in the center of the shield; a military belt or girdle of honor.
Pellet – A Black Roundel, representing a cannon ball.
Chief – That which occupies the whole of the top and one-third of the total surface of the shield of arms. It, signifies dominion and authority. It has often been awarded for prudence and wisdom,as well as successful command in war.
The Scudder motto is “Nunquam Non Paratus” – “Never Unprepared”.
Are you a Scudder?
Over the past 100 years the inspiring, daring, heroic, amusing, swashbuckling, even glamorous stories of our relatives have been collected by devoted historians. Now it is available online in a searchable database that includes photos and a provision to share those stories.
All members of the Scudder family are invited to take a look for your relatives and if you don’t see them, contact our Genealogist to have their information included here. Our Genealogist, Margery Boyden, is a skilled researcher who has extensive experience with the Scudder family genealogy and is in the process of making corrections to earliest generations in our database to reflect the most up to date findings from Family Search as well as Scudder Association Foundation publications and other scholarly sources. This will build on the fine work of our previous genealogists who compiled much of the information in these pages.
This online family scrapbook is an excellent way to save the information for future generations.