Recorded as Vermier, Vermiere, Vermeer, Vermer and possibly Verma, this is usually a Flemish or Dutch surname. If so it is topographical and describes either a person who lived by a "maas" or river, or one who lived by a "mere", a pool or pond. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Old German, with the later medieval Dutch l prefix "ver" meaning "of the". Residential 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. Jan Vermeer, full name Jan van der Meer van Delft, (1632 - 1675), the Dutch genre painter, noted especially for his masterly treatment of light, is the most famous bearer of the name. In England the various examples of early recordings include that on September 1st 1693 of George Vermer, who was christened at St. Olave's church, Southwark, whilst on December 6th 1752 James Vermier was christened at St. Sepulchre, in the city of London. The marriage of Ann Margaret Antionett Vermeer to George Ridard Ellerbeck took place in St. James, Westminster, on April 18th 1828. The first English recording of the family name is probably that of John Vermiere, and dated February 7th 1630, at St. Giles Cripplegate. Thios was during the reign of King Charles 1st of England and known to his supporters as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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