Type Surname (from location)
Pronounced Pron. chAYR-ee-man [key]
Other Forms FormsCherry, Cherriman, Cherryman, Cerie, Cerisier, Seriere, Series, Ceresa, Ceresi, Cereso, Cirasa, Cirisi, Cerezo, Cerera, Cerak, Ciric, Kirsch, Kirscher, Kirsh
Edit Status Status [contributor]
It is topographical or perhaps occupational and describes a person who lived or worked at a cherry orchard, or who lived by a house known by the sign of the cherry. In the days before house numbering, it was the tradition in almost all western countries to give the house a sign. Sometimes this indicated the occupation of the occupant, but more often was simply identification. Today the surviving memory of this tradition at least in the British Isles, is usually the inn sign, although even this is beginning to die out in the face of trendiness or "corporate identity". The derivation is from the ancient word "cerasus" meaning cherry. Perhaps surprisingly the very earliest recordings are in England with Robert Chyry appearing in the register of the assize court of Lancashire in the year 1284, whilst in Germany for instance Kaspar Kirscher appears in the charters of the town of Unterruhldingen in 1505.