This unusual and interesting surname is English, but ultimately of Roman origins. It is a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of pears, or a topographical name for someone who lived by a pear tree or pear orchard. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and only later became hereditary when a son followed a father into the same line of business. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Both sources have the same medieval derivation from the Olde French pre 10th century word "pere, from the Latin word "pirum". To this has been added the sufficx "man", meaning foreman or manager. The surname was first recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex for the year 1296, when Robert Pyrman was so recorded, whilst in surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London are the christenings of Anne, the daughter of Joseph and Rachel Permain, on September 2nd 1705 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and that of Mary Ann, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Pearman, on May 2nd 1802, at St. Paul's, Deptford, in Kent. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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