Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,745 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

We are studying the sermon/sirman/surman families wherever they are worldwide. At present we have an archive going back to 1060 the earliest mention of the name in Languedoc. we have contacts with people sharing the same name, in differing spellings throughout the World. Our aim is to build up a database of every mention of the surname throughout the ages

Variant names

There are six main variants, The vowels change to give Serman, Sermon, Sirman, Sirmon, Surman and Surmon. though there are other variants, mainly caused by the Scribe, either misunderstanding the pronunciation or latinising the spelling

Name origin

This is a difficult one, though one of the earliest versions is: le Predicatoris, or le Sermoner, but this is not conclusive and there are varying opinions, non conclusive

Historical occurrences of the name

The earliest mention is in Languedoc in 1060, with strong connections to both the Cathars and Knights Templar. By 1190 it is found in north Oxfordshire in Sibford Gower, again with Knight Templar connections?
The name is also found in Hungary and Poland spelt mainly Surmann with Jewish connections

Name frequency

The name is found up to the present time right throughout the world and Facebook reveals that there are people with name in the most unusual places like Japan, Indonesia, Israel as well as most of the European countries, Whether or not they are related is very doubtful

Distribution of the name

Belgium and Hungary have the highest distribution per head of population, with Australia close behind and obviously the USA in a strong position, In the UK the name is mainly found in the southern counties. We have broken the name into five main branches: Severn Valley, Thames Valley, Wiltshire, Chilterns and London and South East England, and each of those has a separate DNA profile


We hold chronological indexes for each of those branches and the odd mention of the names in various counties or places in the UK and Europe. We also have close contacts with other members of the family throughout the World who hold similar archives. We also have indexes by location as a cross reference to the chronological indexes

We have the full GRO records for the names as well as the Census records and a record of military records from the earliest times, including the Waterloo roll and those killed in the Boar Wars, First World War and Second World War


The DNA study that we carried out starting six years ago has proved a really valuable tool in proving links to the main family branches for family members here and abroad