This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is habitational from a place called Learmonth in the former county of Berwickshire, of uncertain etymology. The placename may be derived from the Germanic "lar", clearing, and the Gaelic "monadh", mountain, moor, but since the place is in the Lowlands, an English (or Scandinavian) etymology should probably be sought. Andrea de Lermwth, who was recorded in Edinburgh in 1413, appeared again in 1426 as Lermonth, and Alexander Leyremonthe or Leremonthe was clerk of works of the town and castle of Berwick in 1434. The modern surname can be found recorded as Learmond, Learmonth, Learmont and Leirmonth, and in the early 17th Century a Scot by the name of George Learmont served as a mercenary in the Polish army, but was captured by the Russians in 1613 and settled in Russia. His descendants include the novelist and poet Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (1814 - 1841). Recorded in the Scottish Church Registers are the marriage of John Learmond and Margarett Lockhart on January 25th 1713 at Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, and the christening of Patrick, son of Robert Learmond and Janet Taitt, on October 9th 1715, also at Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Leirmontht, which was dated 1408, juror on an inquisition at Swinton, 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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