This name, with variant spellings Sherwell, Sherwill and Shervill, is of English locational origin from the parish of Sherwell, four miles from Barnstaple in Devonshire. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "scir" meaning "bright" or "purc", plus "well", a well, spring or stream, hence, "bright stream". The surname from this source is first recorded in the mid 16th Century, (see below). On July 30th 1582, John son of Justinian Sherwell was christened in Wolborough and Newton Abbot, Devon and on March 11th 1597 the christening of Arminell, daughter of Thomas Sherwill, took place in St. Andrew's, Plymouth. The variant spelling Shervil emerges in 1626 when on July 24th, Elizabeth Shervil and Johannes Whiteburne were married in Ashburton, Devon. On February 5th 1837, Alfred son of George Sherville, was christened in St. Clement Danes, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrewas Sherewill married Margaret Horn, which was dated May 21st 1554 in Ugborough, Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Mary, Bloody Mary, 1553 - 1558. 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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