This surname is English, but with perhaps some French origins, of which it has two. Firstly, it may have originated from the personal name Jerome. In England this was a Crusader name, being ultimately from the Greek "Hieronymos", meaning "sacred name". The Crusaders used Greece as their base for expeditions to "free" the Holy Land from the Muslim. Soldiers returning to their homelands in the 11th and 12th centuries often gave this name to their children in honour of the Christian faith, and their fathers part in it. Secondly the name can be Anglo-Saxon, which is to say Germanic. If so the origin is from the name Garan or Garam, from geri or gari meaning a spear, and hraban, a raven. The "-s" suffix when it occurs indicates a patronymic form, hence "son of". The popularity of St. Jerome (347 - 420), who wrote the Vulgate, the standard Latin version of the Bible, had a great bearing on the subsequent popularity of the name and later surname. In that respect the surname is now recorded in many forms including Geram, Gerram, Jerome, Jerrome, Jerams, Jerram, Jerrams, Jerrim, Jearum and Jaram. The personal name Geram is recorded in Lincolnshire, circa 1154, whilst the surname itself first appears in its original form in the late 12th Century (see below). Early examples include: Roger Geram of Leicestershire in 1333; Robert Jerme of Suffolk, in 1543; and Peter Jeromes in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York, 1604. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Geran. This was dated 1194, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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