Recorded in several forms including Ceres, Syres, Seris, Serris, Searis, Cerif, Cerith, and possibly Ceriliffe, this is apparently a surname of Gaelic and Celtic origins, although we cannot be certain about all the spellings. It was first recorded in medieval times in Scotland as Syreis, with Adam de Syreis being descended from Gillemichael, the son of the earl of Fife in about the year 1160. It is said that he witnessed a charter by Richard, the bishop of St Andrews in 1199, and another undated one by King William, The Lyon of Scotland, in about the same year. Possibly his son was Simon of Sireis, given as being falconer to the king of Scotland in the year 1212. Later recordings include those of Johh Syres, a merchant of Aberdeen, who suffered from the loss of his goods which were plundered in England in 1380, whilst John Ceras was a witnesses in Inverness in 1456. The church records of England and Wales suggest that the surname can also be a development of the Olde English and Welsh personal names Ceri, and Keri, through diminutives Cerin, Kerin and possibly Gethin, which have the general meaning of the dark one, or little dark one. Another possibility is through the unusual Chwith, a former personal name meaning 'left handed' and recorded in Shropshire in 1406.
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