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.) and William Sherratt (1578, Cheshire). The modern surname can be found in a number of forms, ranging from Sherratt, Sherrett and Sherrott to Sherrard, Sherreard and Sherred. The Records of Wills at Chester shows the will of one John Sherratt of Church Lawton, dated 1604. Among the recordings of the name in London Church Registers are the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas and Luce Sherratt, at St. Andrew's, Holborn, on January 27th 1615, and the marriage of Anne Sherratt to Richard Griffith at All Saints, Wandsworth, on March 30th 1630. One of the Coats of Arms most associated with the family depicts two gold boars, passant, a canton, ermine, on a blue shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Shirard, which was dated 1298, witness in the "Assize 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.