This unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from a nickname meaning a beautiful, radiant person or one with very bright, fair hair. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "scir", bright, fair, in Middle English "scher" and "schir", with the French (Norman) intensive suffix "(h)ard". The surname development has included: Richard Schirard (1323 Staffordshire); William Sherard (1337, ibid.); William Sherratt (1578, Cheshire); and Jane Sharratt (1578, London). The modern surname can be found in a number of forms, ranging from Sherratt, Sherrett and Sherrott to Sharratt, Sharrard, Sherrard, and Sherred. The marriage between Hugh Sharratt and Mary Beamyshe was recorded at St. Andrew's by the Wardrobe, London, on the 18th October 1608. One of the Coats of Arms most associated with the name depicts two boars passant, gold, and an ermine canton, on a blue shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Shirard, witness, which was dated 1298, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.