This rare and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is found mainly in the south-western counties of England. The surname is a topographical name for a "dweller by the bright pool", deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "scir", Middle English "scher, schir", bright, radiant, clear (also found in such placenames as Sherbourne, Shirburn, Shirebrook and Shere), with the Olde English "mere", pool, pond, lake. As a second element "mer(e)" has frequently been replaced by "more", and occasionally by "mire". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In the modern idiom the surname has a number of variant spellings ranging from Sherme, Shearme, Scherme, Shearmer and Shermar to Shermore and Shurmore. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Thomas, son of Paskow Scherme, on July 28th 1544, in St. Just, Roseland, Cornwall; the marriage of Joane Shurmer and William Helliar on January 9th 1561 at Purton, Wiltshire; the christening of Hannah Shurmer in 1748, in Bath, Somerset; and the marriage of Christian Shurmer and William Pivins on July 30th 1761, at Christ Church, Spitalfields, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Julian Sherme, which was dated January 2nd 1544, marriage to Walter Rudner, at Kilkhampton, Cornwall, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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