This is a north country topographical name which derives from the Olde English 'sceapa' translating as 'sheep' and 'dun' - a hill. The origin is pre 10th Century and it is possible that such a place as a village or hamlet once existed, but if so we have not been able to establish the proof. A claim has been made that 'Sheardown' is an anglicization of the Irish Sheridan, meaning 'the elf' and this is possible except that Sheardown is recorded in England well before any likely Irish connection. The name development includes Bartholomew Sheredowne (1611, at Barnoldby le Beck) whilst in 1697 Edward Sheardown was a witness on May 16th at St. Marys Church, North Cockerington, Lincolnshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Sheredonne, which was dated 1587, christened on May 20th at Fulstow Lincoln, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 'Good Queen Bess,' 1558 - 1603. 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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