The spelling of this surname would suggest that it is a name of Muslim origins. Now recorded in the spellings of Sharma and Shama, it believed that the meaning is the 'flame of a candle', although there may be an association with the word 'shams' meaning 'sun'. However like many surnames, there can be international confusion. The problem arises because over the seven centuries since the original development of surnames in Europe, there are many (for instance) British surname recordings, which are of similar spellings and the same pronunciation to those from other continents and countries. To add to the confusion, it is only recently in the past fifty years that non Western countries have largely adopted a similar 'fixed' system of hereditary surnames, to that of the West. This is a change brought upon the world as much by the need for telephone directories as for any other reason. We are uncertain about early recordings as Sharma, but we do know that in England there has existed since at the least the 16th century, a locational surname which was originally 'Shermore', and which has been recorded in many ways. For instance Xpian Sheremore was recorded at St Olave's church, in the city of London on October 15th, 1586, whilst a century or so later a Martha Sharmah, the daughter of Ephraim Sharmah, was christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 31st 1726.
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