Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Sherman Name
English, Ashkenazi Jew
Origins of Name:
The Sherman surname was used as an occupational surname in England to describe someone who finished cloth, or someone who cut the edges of very fine cloth with shears or scissors to remove any roughness of a woven cloth. The surname in Norfolk, however, comes from the the word “shireman”, used to describe someone who was born outside the county. The Ashkenazi Jew origin of the name was also as an occupational name for a tailor. The Sherman surname in England derives from the Old English words “schere” meaning scissors and “man”; however, the definition of man in this context means the person who is in charte. The Sherman surname of Yiddish origin derives from the words words “sher” meaning scissors and “man” meaning man.
More common variations are:
Sherman, Shearman, Sharman, Shaerman, Shirman, Sheerman, Shurman
The Sherman surname is one of the earliest recorded surnames. The surname has been found in ancient Britain in numerous shires and counties as far back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. When the English census taking began in the early part of the 11th century, named the “Domesday Book”, the County-court Judge was named Sierman.
The first known recording of the name was Roger Sereman in 1207 in the city of Leicestershire. William le Shereman was recorded in 1281 in London, John Sherman was recorded in 1327 in Suffolk, and also in 1327 Philip Shareman was recorded in Essex.
The Sherman guild in the city of York in the 14th century formed one of the most ancient guilds of all time.
The name would first appear in church recordings in 1599 when Richard Sharman was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate in London. The same year John Sherman was christened at St. James church in Clerkenwell.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the name was well associated with the building and operation of stage coaches and fast mail.
The surname Sherman is the 1683rd most common surname in Great Britain. The highest concentrations are in Leicestershire, Staffordshire, and London.
The surname Sherman is famously associated with General William Sherman, General in the Union Army during the American Civil War. William Sherman’s brother, John Sherman was a US Senator and would introduce the now infamous Sherman Antitrust Act.
A land grant was given to Caleb Sherman in what would eventually become Salisbury, New Brunswick in 1764. This family would marry into the Beck family and the famous Beck house is still standing today.
86,000 in the United States (mainly in California)
14,000 in Liberia
4,500 in Israel
3,800 in Canada
3,330 in England (mainly in Leicestershire)
2,000 in Germany
Alfred Sherman (1919), English writer
General Harry Benham Sherman (1894), American General
Forrest Percival Sherman (1896), Admiral in the United States Navy,
Carl Sherman (1891), New York State Attorney General from 1923 to 1924
Robert Sherman Jr. (1943), American actor
Bernard Sherman (1942), Canadian Chairman and CEO of Apotex Inc
James Schoolcraft Sherman (1855), 27th Vice President of the United States
Richard Morton Sherman (1928), American songwriter
Robert Bernard Sherman (1925), American songwriter
John Sherman (1823), US Senator
Sherman Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Sherman blazon are the lion rampant and holly leaf. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and or.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms . The lion rampant is an example of these modified form, and any family would be proud to have such a noble creature displayed on their arms. Rampant is the default attitude of the lion, raised on its hind legs, facing to the dexter and with front paws extended in a fearsome and powerful pose.
Amongst the natural objects depicted on a coat of arms, trees feature frequently, either in whole or as individual branches and leaves. . Although sometimes described simply as a tree most often the specific species was named, and the holly leaf is a typical example. Sometimes the species or the part of tree was chosen as an allusion to the name of the bearer, as in Argent three tree stumps (also known as stocks) sable” for Blackstock Trees of course had long been venerated and its use in a coat of arms may have represented some association with the god Thor