The name of SHURMAN was an occupational name 'the shearman' one who sheared the nap. A keeper of sheep, a shepherd. The name was very familiar to medieval records. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name.
Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records of the name mention John le Shereman, 1300 Yorkshire. Oliver Sherman of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Baptised. Elizabeth Sherman, St. Jame's, Clerkenwell, London in 1638. Edward Sharman married Sarah Barlow, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1792. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
Roger Sherman (1722-93) was the only man to sign all four documents at the foundation of the American republic (the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Association and Confederation and the Constitution itself). He was born in Newton Massachusetts, and was a descendant of Captain John Sherman, who had emigrated in about 1636 to America, from Dedham in County Essex, where his father was a farmer, following his brother Edmund who had emigrated two years previously.
The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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