This rare and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These were bestowed in the first instance with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, including individual mannerisms of speech or behaviour, and supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition. The surname Churm derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cearm, cierm", noise, chatter, often used of birdsong, in Middle English "churme, chirme". As a nickname, this term would have been applied to someone considered to be particularly noisy, a "chatterbox". The surname is widespread in Shropshire and the West Midlands, and the following are examples of the development of the name from Shropshire Church Registers: Adam Churme (1557); Rycharde Chyrme (1560); John Chirme (1561); Henrie Chorm (1576); and Margarete Cherme (1578). Sara, daughter of William Churm, was christened on July 28th 1646, in Shrawardine, Shropshire, and the marriage of Richard Churm and Sarah Careless was recorded at St. Marylebone, London, on March 21st 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Ciurme, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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