The name Sherwood is of Anglo-Saxon/English origin. The surname is thought to possibly be topographical, coming from the Royal Sherwood Forest, which was designated as such in the middle ages, near Nottingham. Many of the ancient surnames, actually acted as an indicator or representation of the birthplace of the individual by identifying easily recognizable landmarks. This worked well for the small settlements which existed at this time because people rarely traveled far from their homes and were familiar with the surrounding landscape.
There are multiple variations of the name which include but are not limited to; Sherwood, Sherewood, ShirewoodShirewude, Scirewode, and Shirewod among others. The variation in spelling of names during the early centuries and later can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in most European countries at this time.
The earliest record of any variation of the name is that of Ralph de Scirwode which appears in the Lincoln “Pipe Rolls” from 1273. The Pipe Rolls often times called the “Great Rolls” were a series of financial records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Edward 1st, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom. These records span a period of over 700 years and have proven invaluable to researches over the years. Additional records of those bearing any variation of the surname Sherwood include, Margareta de Shyrwode which appears in the Yorkshire “Pipe Rolls” from 1379.
The first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname Sherwood or any variation of the spelling was Peter Sherwood who landed and settled in Virginia in 1621. Peceable Sherwood landed and settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 11624. Rebecca Sherwood landed in 1634 and settled in New England.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Sherwood are found in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, New Zealand, and Canada. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Sherwood live in Maine and Washington state.
There are many persons of note who bear the surname Sherwood. Lord Sherwood, Colonel Sir Charles Seely, 1st Baronet was a Member of the British Parliament, an industrialist, and philanthropist. He was a major landholder on the Isle of Wight and in Nottinghamshire. At various times, he held the office of Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, High Sheriff of Nottingham, and he was awarded Knight of Grace the Venerable Order of Saint John. He maintained residence at the family estate, Sherwood Lodge until his death in 1915. Lord Sherwood 1st Baronet's heir apparent was his eldest son, who was named Charles also.
Lord Sherwood, Charles Hilton Seely, 2nd Baronet, like his father was a Member of the British Parliament, an industrialist, and landowner. He served as Justice of the Peace for Nottinghamshire, was High Sheriff of Nottingham, was awarded Knight of Grace the Venerable Order of Saint John, and Baronet of Sherwood, a title he inherited upon his father's death. He maintained residence at the family estate, Sherwood Lodge until his death in 1926. Lord Sherwood, 2nd Baronrt's heir apparent was his eldest son, who was named Hugh.
Lord Sherwood, Hugh Seely, 3rd Baronet and 1st Baron of Sherwood was educated at Eton College, he was an officer in the British Army, a Member of Parliament, and Baronet of Sherwood, a title he inherited upon his father's death. He maintained residence at the family estate, Sherwood Lodge until his death in 1970. As Lord Sherwood, 3rd Baronet and 1st Baron of Sherwood died childless, the barony became extinct. The family estate, Sherwood Lodge, is now an historical landmark.
Other notable persons bearing the surname Sherwood include; Carlton Sherwood was an award wining American journalist, having been part of two news crews which were awarded the Pulitzer Prize and a Peabody Award. Elmer William Sherwood was a Brigadier-General in the U. S. Army and a veteran of the fist World War. Alison Sherwood is an American Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Don Sherwood, an American artist, illustrator, and cartoonist who was the first cartoonist to have a nationally syndicated comic, and Micheal Sherwood, and English banker who was previously vice chairman of Goldman-Sachs until 2008 and is currently the co-chief executive officer of Goldman-Sachs International, a position he has held since 2005. Goldman-Sachs is one of the largest multi-national investment banking institutions in the world.