Shearman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Shearman has been recorded in British history since the time when the Anglo-Saxons ruled over the region. The name is assumed to have been given to someone who was a person who worked as a sheep-shearer deriving from the middle English word "sheareman," which meant "shearer." Alternately, and especially in Norfolk, the name was derived from "shireman," that is, a person born outside the county. [1]

Early Origins of the Shearman family

The surname Shearman was first found in various counties and shires throughout ancient Britain. In fact, "in [the] Domesday Book the Judge of the County-court was called a Seirman, i.e., Shireman. The Anglo Saxon scirmann is defined by Bosworth as 'a man who superintends, shireman, provincial, an overseer, governor, provost, bailiff of a hundred.' " [1]

The earliest record of the name that we could find was Roger Sereman who was listed in 1207 in Leicestershire. A few years later William le Shereman was listed in 1281 and the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk list John Sherman in 1327. In the same year, the Subsidy Rolls of Essex listed Philip Shareman (Sharman.) [2]

Early History of the Shearman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shearman research. Another 80 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1611, 1687, 1671, 1662, 1670 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Shearman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shearman Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Shearman has been spelled many different ways, including Sherman, Shearman, Sharman, Shaerman, Shirman and others.

Early Notables of the Shearman family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Philip Sherman (1611-1687), an English founding settler of Portsmouth in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; and Roger Sherman of Connecticut, signer of the American Declaration of Independence. John Sherman (died 1671), was an English historian of Jesus College, Cambridge, a native of Dedham...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shearman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Shearman family to Ireland

Some of the Shearman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Shearman migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Shearmans to arrive in North America:

Shearman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Philip Shearman, who arrived in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1633 [3]
  • John Shearman, who arrived in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1634 [3]
  • Abra Shearman, who landed in Virginia in 1648 [3]
Shearman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jurigh Shearman, aged 17, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733 [3]
  • Simon Shearman, aged 49, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [3]
Shearman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H Shearman, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • William Shearman Shearman, who landed in Texas in 1835 [3]
  • Henry Shearman, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855 [3]

Canada Shearman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shearman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Sand Shearman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. Adrian Shearman U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]

Australia Shearman migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Shearman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Shearman, British convict who was convicted in London, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Robert Shearman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Abberton" in 1846 [6]
  • Eldred Shearman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Princess Helena" in 1850 [7]
  • William Shearman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Statesman" in 1850 [8]
  • James Shearman, aged 25, a gardener, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Shearman (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Shearman, American co-founder of Shearman & Sterling LLP, a law firm headquartered in New York City in 1873
  • William Shearman (1767-1861), English physician and medical writer, born at Harwich, Essex
  • Simon Max Shearman (b. 1964), former English cricketer
  • James Shearman (1970-2004), English composer, arranger and conductor, Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (2004), best known for his prolific work on as many as 53 Hollywood movies
  • Sir Montague Shearman (1857-1930), English judge and athlete, co-founder of the Amateur Athletics Association in 1880
  • John Kinder Gowran Shearman (1931-2003), English art historian
  • Robert "Rob" Shearman (b. 1970), English Hugo Award nominated television writer, best known for his work on Doctor Who
  • Benjamin "Ben" W. Shearman (1884-1958), English footballer
  • Sir Harold C. Shearman (1964-1966), British Labour politician, Chairman of the Greater London Council
  • Donald Norman Shearman (b. 1926), Australian former bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1831
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ABBERTON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Abberton.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PANAMA 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850PrincessHelena.gif
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STATESMAN 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Statesman.gif
  9. ^ South Australian Register Friday 29 April 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Marshall Bennett 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1853.shtml.


Houseofnames.com on Facebook