This unusual name is not apparently recorded in the UK before the early 18th Century. It is believed to be a variant of the germanic and possibly huguenot "scherer", an occupational name for a cloth finisher or "Shereman" - a tailor. The name derives from the elements "Sher" meaning "Scissors" plus "er" or "man", both indicating a worker. The "modern" spellings would seem to be a mix of both suffix's, indicating a dialectal transposition of a type not unusual in the period. The name recordings include the following examples - Susan Shearmur, the daughter of Timothy and Elizabeth Shearmur (nee Kitching), christened at Holborn lying in hospital on July 12th 1810, whilst on July 11th 1817, James Shearmur married Jane Donovan at St.Martins in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sarah Sharmer, which was dated January 5th 1726, married John Ceney at the church of St. Benets, London, during the reign of King George 1, "Hanover George", 1715 - 1727. 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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