Select Sherman Surname Genealogy

The earliest record of Sherman as a surname was Richard Le Sherman of Hythe in Essex who was granted a license to trade in wool in 1274. 

The name
was originally an occupational surname for a cloth finisher, one who trimmed the surface of the finest cloth with shears to remove any excess nap.  These Shermans were middleman who bought of cloth from cottage weavers and then sold it at weekly auctions to the clothes makers.  The Shermans of the city of York in the 14th century formed one of the most ancient of all guilds. 

The main English spelling variant is Sharman. 
The derivation of the word is the Old English schere meaning “shears” or “scissors” plus man implying the person in charge.  German and Dutch spellings of the name are Schuerman, Schuermann and Schuurman.  From these roots came the Yiddish sherman meaning “tailor” and the Jewish Sherman name found in America.

Select Sherman Resources on The Internet

Select Sherman Ancestry

England.  Sherman, Shearman, and Sharman all exist as surnames in England, with Sharman being the most prevalent. 

Early records of the Sherman name were to be found in Essex and East Anglia.  Thomas Sherman was a church warden and lawyer who was born and died in Diss in Norfolk in the 15th century.  Later Shermans were to be found at Yaxley in Suffolk and Dedham in Essex where Henry Sherman was, appropriately enough, a prosperous clothier.  Philip Sherman embarked from Dedham for the New World in 1634. 

Sharman has been more a name of East Anglia stretching north into the East Midlands.  Leicestershire accounted for a number of these Sharmans.  There was a Sharman family of Leicester with a coat of arms dated 1619.  The village of Cranoe in Leicestershire had a number of Sharmans living there in the 19th century.  Other Sharmans were to be found at Kettering in Northamptonshire. 

.  Philip Sherman arrived in New England in 1634 with several of his siblings and cousins and settled four years later in Rhode Island.  He became the first Secretary of the new colony.  James S. Sherman, US Vice President under Taft, was a descendant, as were some other famous names.  The lineage was traced in Roy V. Sherman’s 1968 book Descendants of Philip Sherman. 

Other early Shermans in America from Dedham were:  
  • Captain John Sherman of Watertown in Massachusetts, from whom descended Roger Sherman of Connecticut, a signer of the Declaration of Independence  
  • Samuel Sherman of Woodbury in Connecticut, from whom descended in Ohio Lincoln’s General William T. Sherman (after whom the Sherman tank was named) and Senator John Sherman of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  
  • and William Sherman of Marshfield, Massachusetts.  Some of his descendants migrated to New Brunswick in Canada, others later moved to Ohio.  Mary Holman’s 1936 book Descendants of William Sherman traced this line.  
From the Watertown line also came Sidney Sherman, a general in the Texas army at the time of the Texas Revolution. 

From the Woodbury line also came Loren Sherman, the longtime publisher of The Daily Times of Port Huron in Michigan.  His son Frederick moved to California and started The Daily Independent in Santa Barbara; while his grandson Frederick was a highly decorated admiral of the US Navy during World War Two. 

Later the Sherman numbers in America were boosted by Jewish Sherman immigrants.  Notable Shermans here have been Al Sherman and his sons the Sherman Brothers, writers of musical scores, and the comedy writer and singer of the 1960’s, Allan Sherman. 

Canada.  Caleb Sherman from New England was granted land in what became Salisbury, New Brunswick as early as 1764.  Their family intermarried with the Beck family and their home, now known as Beck House, still stands.  Francis Sherman, born much later in Fredericton in 1871 of seafaring stock, was a bank manager who achieved some local renown as a poet. 

Ben Sherman came to Toronto in 1905 from Kiev in the Russian empire.  He worked at his hardware store until his death there at the age of 111 in 1982

Select Sherman Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Sherman Names

General William T. Sherman was Lincoln’s victorious general during the Civil War. 
His brother
John Sherman was the US Senator of Ohio who introduced the Sherman Antitrust Act.  
idney Sherman
was a hero of the Texas Revolution that liberated Texas from Mexico. 
Al Sherman
was a Jewish American songwriter of the early 20th century and the first of a family of Shermans in the music business.

Select Shermans Today
  • 13,000 in the UK (most numerous in Leicestershire)
  • 27,000 in America (most numerous in California) 
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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