This interesting surname with variant spellings Learmont, Learmond, Leirmonth, Learmonth, Learmount, and the apparently anglicised Learmouth, is of Scottish locational origin. It derives from an area known formerly as "The lands of Learmonth" in the county of Berwickshire. The precise meaning is open to conjecture, the initial element of the name is unknown, but may be the old English pre 7th Century "laefer", meaning rushes or iris, and the second element is the Gaelic element "monadh", a mountain. The surname first appears in records in the early 15th Century, whilst amongst the early recordings is that of Andrea de Lermwth recorded in Edinburgh in 1413 and again in 1426, whilst Alexander Leremonthe was clerk of works of the town and castle of Berwick in 1434. A Jacobus Lermouth was presbyter of Glasgow diocese and notary public and William Lermouth was summoned in 1479 to answer to the Scottish Parliament for treason and other crimes. In England early recordings appear as Larmuth, Larmouth, Lermouth, and Learmonth, with William Learmonth being registered at the famous church of St Mary-Le-Bone on July 10th 1671, and William Learmouth at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 13th 1699. The name also travelled out of the British Isles. In the early 17th Century, George Learmont served as an officer in the Polish army, but was captured by the Russians in 1613. He stayed in Russia. His descendants include the novelist and poet Mikhail Yurierich Lermontov, (1814 - 1841). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Leirmontht, which was dated 1408, a juror at an inquest at Winton, Scotland, during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. 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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