The ancient Anglo-Saxon
surname Silmen came from the baptismal name Soloman,
which was an ancient personal name
. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames. The surname Silmen also has origins as a nickname
for a man who was considered to be wise or fortunate.
Early Origins of the Silmen family
The surname Silmen was first found in Surrey
where they were Lords of the manor of Caterham from ancient times. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from Selham, a small village in the Chichester district of West Sussex
. The village dates back to the Domesday Book
where it was listed as Seleham and literally meant "homestead by a copse of sallow-trees." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early History of the Silmen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Silmen research.Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1240, 1303, 1371, 1468, 1800, 1426, 1390, 1411, 1414, 1435, 1414 and 1435 are included under the topic Early Silmen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Silmen Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Silmen family name include Saleman, Salman, Selman, Selyman, Seleman and others.
Early Notables of the Silmen family (pre 1700)
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Silmen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Silmen family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Silmen surname or a spelling variation of the name include: George Selman who settled in Barbados in 1634; Michael Selman arrived in Philadelphia in 1741; another Michael Selman arrived in Philadelphia in 1844.