This surname of SHERREARD is a locational name 'of Sherwood 'the forest in Nottingham from the corruption of the name. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. The name was originally derived from the Old Anglo-Norman word SHEREARD, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. There are many variant spellings which include Sherrett, Sherott, Sherred and Sherard. Early records of the Ralph de Scirewod who was documented in the year 1273 in the County of Lincolnshire. William Shirard was recorded in Nottingham in 1298 and Richard Schirard appears there in 1323. William Sherard was recorded in 1337 in County Chester. Willelmus de Schiwode of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name include a certain William Sherwood who married Dionise Butler, in London in the year 1577. George Sherard and Mary Deakins were married in Canterbury in 1665. William Sherratt of Moss Side, Manchester, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1588 and John Sharret of Church Lawton, appears in the same Wills in the year 1604. A criminal charged was brought against James Sherrat in Cardross, Dumbertonshire in 1671. The forms Sheret, Sherrat and Sherrett are still in use in Scotland. 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.
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