Recorded in many spellings, this is regarded as German surname, but one of Ancient Greek and biblical origins. These spellings include Erasmus, which may be regarded as the basic form, Rasmus, Asmus, Eras, Rasem, Asam, Asum, Rassman, Assmann, Raes, Raskin, Erasmi, Asmes, Asmesen, Asmussen and possibly others. The origin is from the word "erasmos" meaning beloved, and it is said was originally borne by an early Christian saint of the 6th century a.d. one who was later was regarded as the patron of seamen and turners! It is a "Crusader" surname. That is to say a name which was originally "borrowed" from Greece in about the 11th century, when that country was used as the base for operations by the Knights Templar or Crusaders, in their many quests to attempt to free the Holy Land from the Mulsims. All these crusades were unsuccessful, but nevertheless it became the fashion for returning knights to call any subsequent child by a biblical name, in honour of the fathers activities on behalf of the Christian Church. This name never became popular in England, but was widely recorded in Germany and other countries. Early examples include Augustus Erasmi of Berlin in the year 1420, Conrad Erasmus of Prague in 1427, and in England, Johan Asmus married Jane Elizabeth Taylor at the church of St John, the Baptist, Shoreditch, on September 29th 1839. They subsequently had six children.
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