This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational surname for someone employed as a sheep shearer, or for someone who used shears in the course of his work as a cloth-finisher, trimming the surface of the cloth with shears to remove the excess nap. The name derives from the Middle English word "shereman", a derivative of "schere", shears, scissors, with "man(n)", man, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "scearra", shears, and "mann", man. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: William le Shereman (1281, London); John Sherman (1327, Suffolk); and Philip Shareman (1327, Essex). The modern surname can be found recorded as Shearman, Sharman, Sheerman, Sherman and Shurman. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of John Sharman and Joyce Adeley on April 29th 1576, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the marriage of Samuel Sharman and Charlotte Chase on April 16th 1789, at Tottenham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Sereman, which was dated 1207, in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of Leicester", Leicestershire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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