This interesting surname, with variant spellings Vermier, Vermiere and Vermeer, recorded in London Church Registers from the early part of the 17th Century is of Flemish or Dutch topographical origin from residence by a pool or pond. The derivation is from the Middle Dutch "mere", equivalent to the old English "mere" meaning "pond", with the Dutch locational prefix "ver". 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. 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. On September 1st 1693 George Vermer, an infant, was christened in St. Olave Southwark, and on December 6th 1752 James Vermier was christened in St. Sepulchre, London. The marriage of Ann Margaret Antionett Vermeer to George Ridard Ellerbeck took place in St. James, Westminster, London on April 18th 1828. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Vermiere, (christening), which was dated February 7th 1630, St. Giles Cripplegate, London, during the reign of King Charles 1st, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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