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The Sherman name first appeared among some Saxony people living along the Rhine river as far back as the 10th century.
The earliest record found of the Sherman name in England was, 8 June 1274. A license to trade in wool was granted at Westminister to Richard Le Sherman, a merchant of Huthe in Essex County.
Before the 12th century most people only had a first name. Later their occupation was often added to the first name and became their last or surname. England adopted occupational names starting in the 12th century. Middle names did not appear until the early 1800s.
The origin of the name Sherman apparently came from some early progenitor whose occupation was a dresser or shearer of cloth: One who sheared worsted, fustians etc to even the nap. This is they were cloth dressers and workers with cloth, commonly called clothiers (they dealt with cloth, not clothes). This kind of tradesman was referred to as the "Shearmancraft."
Names were seldom written in the 1300-1500s, but when they were they were generally spelled as the recorder saw fit. English spellings are Shearmen, Sharman, Shereman and Shurman. German and Dutch spellings are Schuerman, Schuermann and Schuurman. French spellings have the "le" prefix, for example le Sherman.
The common spelling seen in early documents for our family name is Shearman, until about mid 1800s when it changed gradually to Sherman. The Sherman spelling is used throughout this genealogy, except when quoting documents.
The Shermans in England were middleman who bought lengths of cloth from cottage weavers. Then they dressed or sheared it, dyed it if they had a woadhouse, sorted it for quality, baled it, marked it with their trademark, and sold it at weekly auctions to the clothes makers.
Our Sherman ancestors of England were wealthy land gentry and yeomanry, they lived mostly in the area Northeast of London called East Anglian.
The earliest verified ancestor is Thomas Sherman (1), his information and the rest of the family tree starts on the next page. Or go to the Index of Biographical pages where ancestors are listed in order starting with the earliest. Or search for a certain name on this site below. Recommend you use "Search EXACT phrase" option to start with.
If a reference is not shown they are available upon request from the researcher.
Points to help you with your visit: In John Sherman (7), the (#) indicates the generations in regards to Thomas Sherman (1). Information on current generations is left out for privacy.
Index of Biographical pages Index of Wills & Estates Photo Pages References
(File is in MS Word format 39KB)
SHERMAN PIONEERS IN MICHIGAN. A compilation of Sherman Pioneers in Michigan and some of their descendants. Sherman lineage chart for the complier's family from 1422 till the present. (File is in MS Word format 26KB). Sherman Tombstone Project (File is in MS Word format 41KB).