The Scism surname is native to the United States, dating back to the Dutch colonies in New Amsterdam. The earliest found instance of the spelling is about 1700, although it is surmised that Scism, Scissom, and Cism, are branches of the same family ONLY in this time and location. It is surmised that Scism developed from the frisian village called Chijs, and that people who left this village were referenced as van der Chijs, or "From Chijs" ~ Chijs is also seen written as Sijs, and pronounced "SIZZ." It is possible that 'van der Sijs' became 'Van Sise' in the colonies (of Sise), and developed further into Sisson (Son of Sise) 'Sissom' and 'Scism'.
It is important to note that in New England there are Sisson and Sissom families which are of English origin, and live in proximity to those named alike from the Dutch colony period. Careful research is important to assure confusion does not happen.
Genealogical research indicates that the Scism family were members in the Dutch Reformed Churches, and several christening records in the Hudson River Valley, of New York, name them. The surname is commonly mis-spelled.
In the late 1700s the surname appears in Tennessee in Carter County, and in the Carolinas. The sources of these Scisms can not as yet be connected to the Scism family in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. There are some indications that about the time of the US War Between the States, that these families may have lived near each other in the south.
The Carolinas branch migrated south and then west with descendants known in Louisiana and east Texas, some using the spelling "Schysm".
The Carter County Tennessee Branch, spread to Stoddard County, Missouri, Beckham County, Oklahoma, Central Texas, Oregon and California. There are Scism family members in India, which came from the Oregon branch of the Tennessee Scisms, they are noted evangelists.
Records have NOT been established which tie these three branches together into ONE family.
The surname is unusual, and the chances of three entirely separate occurances of it, is slim, but possible.
It is unknown precisely where the Name SCISM developed from, but it is a theory that the New England area Scism family came from the Dutch tradition of naming by place of origin.
Some in the Scism families in the south claim origins in the Scots name "Chisholm", and the variation "Chisum" or "Chisom" is common in the south, and may be the root name of the southern Scisms..