Recorded as Chaman, Charman, Charer, Charrer, Sharman and others, this is an English surname. It does however owe much to the Old French word "char", meaning a cart, and the pre 7th Century English or Anglo-Saxon "mann", and was originally given to a carter or a maker of carts. The name also appears as Charer or Charrer, the suffix "-er" designates persons according to their profession or occupation. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only later became hereditary when a son followed his father into the same trade. Early examples of the surname recording include John le Charrer, in the Hundred Rolls of Nottinghamshire in 1273; William le Chaman, in the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire, dated 1293; and Adam le Charman, 1310, in the Calendar of Letter Books for the City of London. A quotation from "Issues of the Exchequer", dated 1333, reads, "To Master William la Zousche, clerk of the King's great wardrobe, in money, paid to him by the hands of John le Charer, for making a certain chariot". On July 1st 1542, Edward, son of Thomas and Margerye Charman, was christened at Horsham, Sussex, and on February 23rd 1544, Patrenell Sharman and John Stone were married at Stopham, also in Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Chareman. This was dated 1183, in the Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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