This interesting name is a dialectual variant of sermon, of English origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a preacher or public speaker, or perhaps a nickname for a person with a tendency to be verbose. The derivation is from the Middle English, 'serm(o)un', or Olde French 'sermon', meaning speech or discourse. In the modern idiom the variants include, Surmon, Sirmon, Sirman, Sermin, and Serman. Two recordings of christenings in London are of one James Surman, son of Richard and Rebecca Surman on 27th November 1668 at St. Botolph without Aldgate, and on Benjamin, son of John and Sara Surman on 7th July 1692 at Christ Church, Southwark. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Sermoner, which was dated 1212, in the Curia Rolls Hertfordshire, 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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