Recorded in the spellings of Shearman, Sherman, Sharman, Shoreman, and Shurman, this famous surname is English. It was originally an occupational surname for a cloth-finisher, one who trimmed the surface of the finest cloth with shears to remove any excess nap, although it is possible that as Shorman or Shoreman, it may have had some (unproven) association with the coast. The Shermen of the city of York in the 14th century, formed one of the most ancient of all guilds, to which only the most highly skilled would be accepted as members.The derivation is from the pre 7th century Olde English "schere", meaning shears or scissors, plus "man(n)", which in this context is a status suffix implying the person in charge. The surname is one of the first recorded anywhere, and the recordings taken from surviving registers, charters and rolls of the medieval period include: William le Shereman of London in the year 1281, John Sherman of the county of Suffolk in 1327, and Philip Shorman of Essex, in the same year. Later examples include Richard Sharman, who was christened at the church of St. Botolph without Aldgate, city of London on February 23rd 1599, and John Sherman was christened at St James church, Clerkenwell. In England the name was well known in the early 19th century with the building and operation of fast mail and stage coaches, whilst in the United States, General Sherman's march through Georgia in 1864/65 brought the civil war to an end. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Roger Sereman. This was dated 1207, in the register of the Freeman of the City of Leicester.
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