This most unusual surname may derive from two possible sources. Firstly, it may be of arly medieval English origin, and a nickname for a beautiful, radiant person, or one with very bright, fair hair. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century element "scir", bright, fair, Middle English "scher, schir", with the French Norman intensive suffix "-(h)ard". The surname is however more likely to be a Suffolk pronunciation of "Cheesewright", which itself is composed of the Olde English "cyse, cese", cheese, and "wryhta", an ending found in many occupational names, as it denotes a maker of a wide range of goods, in this case cheese. The surname from the former source is first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include Richard Schirard (1323, Staffordshire) and William Sherard (1327, Staffordshire). The first recording of the surname from the latter source is found much later, when Nicholas and Jane Cheswright, Cherit or Cherritt are recorded circa 1655, in the "Denham Parish Registers" (Suffolk). Variants of the surname include Cherritt, Cherit, as well as Sherrett and Sherrard. Robert Cherrett was christened on September 11th 1831, at the Church of St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Shirard, which was dated 1298, a witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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