Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Sherwin Name
Origins of Name:
The Sherman surname was a medieval surname used as a descriptive nickname. It first appeared prior to the 8th century. The surname derives from the Middle English words schere (“to shear” or “to cut through”) and wind (“wind”), shere-wind. The name was used to describe a professional messenger or fast runner. The name also expanded to Germany and France. The German form of the surname was “Scheidewin” and the French form of the surname was “Tranchevent” which would later become Anglicized to “Trenchard”. As time passed, variations of the surname would appear due to the phonetic pronunciation of the name being recorded differently by census recorders, church recorders or tax recorders.
More common variations are:
Shearwin, Sherwina, Sherwine, Sherewin, Sherin, Shuerwine, Sherrin, Sherwen, Sheerin, Sharwin, Sharvin, Sharvan
The first known recording of the name was when the English Treasury began to document names for personal income tax. The first appearance of the surname was Gilbert Scerewin was recorded in the Danelaw Rolls of Lincoln in 1160. John Surewyn of Oxfordshire in 1273 was recorded in the “Hundred Rolls”. John Shirwyn of Norwich in 1479 was recorded with the surname, and John Sherwyn of Suffolk in 1524 was recorded by the English Treasury.
In the 17th century, Sherwin was a well-known surname in Nottingham. During that time period, five mayors held this surname.
The Sherwin surname is the 2,800th most common name in Great Britain with the highest concentration in Devon and Surrey.
The first appearance of the Sherwin surname is in Abderdeen in 1408 by Anny Scherwyn.
The Sherwin surname in Ireland appears because of immigrants from England and Scotland during the 17th century. The Gaelic surname is O’Searbhain found in Roscommon county and was anglicized to Sherwin. Mainly found in Dublin and Ulster. Also a variant of the Irish surname Sharvin or Sharvan which means ‘bitter’.
Coat of Arms Origin:
The crest origins can be traced back to Bramcote Hills,Nottinghamshire when the coat of arms was granted to the Sherwin family.
4,000 in the United States (mainly in the Northeast, especially Vermont)
2,000 in England
700 in Canada
500 in Australia
Arthur Sherwin (1879), English cricketer
Brent Sherwin (1978), Australian professional rugby league player
David Sherwin (1942), British screenwriter
Britain Henry Sherwin (1842), one of the two founders of the Sherwin-Williams Company in 1866
Jane Sherwin, British actress
John C. Sherwin (1838), U.S. Representative from Illinois
John Keyse Sherwin (1751), English engraver and history-painter
Manning Sherwin (1902), American composer
Martin J. Sherwin (1937), Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian
Ralph Sherwin (1550), English Roman Catholic martyr and saint
Thomas Sherwin (1839), American Civil War general and executive
Sherwin Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Sherwin blazon are the griffin and cross formee. The two main tinctures (colors) are gules and argent.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. . It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges , or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross . The cross formee is typical of these, (also known as a cross pattee) it has arms which broaden out in smooth curves towards the ends.