This surname is English, but with either of two origins. Firstly, it may have derived from the Greek "Hieronymos", meaning "sacred name", of which the European spelling is Jerome. As such it is a Crusader name, that is to say one which was brought back to Northern Europe by returning Christian knights who had used Greece as their base for expeditions to "free" the Holy Land from the Muslim. These soldiers often gave this name to their children in honour of the attempts to restore the Christian faith to Jerusalem, 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 personal names Garan or Garam, shortened compounds whose elements were 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 standard Latin version of the Bible, had a great bearing on the subsequent popularity of the personal 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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