This name, with variant spelling Shelmardine, is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been Shermanden. The component elements are the old English pre 7th Century "Scirman" meaning Sheriff or a personal byname plus "den" a wooded valley; hence "Scirmans wooded valley". The surname was first recorded in the mid 16th Century (see below). On December 27th 1681, Thomas Shelmerdine married Martha Harding, at Allhallows, London Wall; Daniel Shelmerdine married Ann Champernoun, on December 17th 1689 at St. James, Dukes Place; and Robert Shelmerdine married Mary Palmer, on February 15th 1692 at Temple Church of English, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Schelmerdyne, who married Grasce Ockes, which was dated October 24th 1562, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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