The surname of HERMANSON was a baptismal name 'the son of Herman' from a German personal name composed of the elements HERI (army) and MAN (man). The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. This is undoubtedly of very ancient origin and the Ist century leader of the Cherusci recorded by the Latin historian Tacitus as ARMINIUS has been claimed as the first known bearer. The surname is also borne by Ashkenazic Jews, probably as an adoption of the German surname. The name was brought into England at an early date, and was found in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hermannus. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Other records of the name mention Nicholas Herman who was documented in County Sussex in the year of 1273. Thomas Herman of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A later instance of the name includes Harman Clynke who registered at Oxford University in the year of 1549. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The form Harman is mainly found in Co. Louth where the name was taken by settlers. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000
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