This is a patronymic i.e. "the son of Shear", a complimentary personal nickname deriving from the medieval English "scher" or "schir" itself coming from the Olde English pre 7th Century "scir" meaning "bright" or "fair" and originally given as a nickname to a person of radiant beauty or one with fair shining hair. The surname from this source is first recorded towards the end of the 12th Century (see below). One, Reginald le Scher appears in the 1327 "Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire". The patronymic forms of the name Shear(e)s, Sheer(e)s and Shires are well recorded in London Church Registers from the mid 16th Century onwards. The final "s" added to the name is a reduced form of "son(of)". On October 2nd 1613, the christening of Rachell, daughter of John Shears is recorded at St. Michael, Bassishaw and on January 1665 a Peheby Shears was christened in St. Dunstan in the East London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Le Schir. which was dated 1193, in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire. during the reign of King Richard 1, known as Richard the Lionheart 1189 - 1199. 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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