The surname of SHEARER was an occupational name 'the shearer' a cutter of cloth. The name was derived from the Old English word 'sherer'. Early records of the name mention Matilda le Scherheringe, 1273 County Lincolnshire. Richard le Schearere, was recorded in 1300 in the County of Yorkshire. William le Scherer was documented in Yorkshire in the year 1305. Johannes Wykir Shearinge, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Oliver Searing, 1379 ibid. The name was taken to Scotland at an early date and John Cissor was burgess of Dunfermline in 1316. William Scherar was the bailie of Berwick in 1324, and Johannes Scherar was baillie and burgess of Aberdeen in the year 1399. William Scherer was proprietor of a tenemant in Dundee in 1427, and another William Sherar was burgess of Aberdeen in 1451. Ando Scherare was parishioner of Kinkell in 1473, and Johannes Scherare was archdeacon of Ross in 1503. A family of the name appeared in Strathblane early in the 17th century, and John Scharrar was 'watchman in ye castell of Stirling' in 1587. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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