The Study was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1995. It has now grown to an international study group with over a hundred members, producing a newsletter twice a year and holding a gathering every three years. Further details are on our Group website under Links. In 1988 Phil began tracing his own Sherwood roots in the Ashford area of Kent, and by 1994 had accumulated a large mass of data from civil and parish records on other branches, which he felt would benefit others.
The registered variants of the name are SHARWOOD, SHEARWOOD and SHURRUD. Other spellings, which can sometimes be related, are SHERRARD, SHIR(E)WOOD, SHEWARD, SHURWOOD, SHERWELL, CHERETT and CHARRATT, although these surnames may have different origins.
An ancient English surname derived from the Old English elements 'Scir' (pronounced 'sher') meaning 'bright' or 'shire', and 'Wudu' - a Wood or collection of trees. Thus the name may have applied to a 'dweller in the bright wood' or a 'dweller in a wood near a Shire or County boundary'. It is thus of topographic origin (like the surname Wood) and may have sprung up independently in several regions at the same time. It is also the name of a forest and a place in Nottinghamshire, where the surname could be of toponymic origin.
From the index of the 1881 census for England, Wales & Scotland produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints; there were 4,085 Sherwood & variants recorded in that census. By the 1901 census, this figure had risen to over 5000. In the 1880 census for the USA there were 8,545 Sherwoods (over twice as many as in the British 1881 census) of which 182 were of Black race, 39 Mulatto, and 3 Native American Indians in Washington & California. 154 gave their birthplace as England of whom 81 were male, 73 were born in Ireland and 16 in Scotland.
In the 1881 census the highest concentration of the surname was in the Home Counties around London, with Berkshire having five times the national average. Other clusters occurred in Worcestershire, Dorset, Kent, Yorkshire and Northumberland. The name occurred frequently in the Dublin area of Ireland, but was rare in Scotland & Wales. Distribution maps & statistics can be found on our website.
All entries from the General Register Offices BMD Indexes for England & Wales from 1837 to at least 1901 have been recorded. This data can be searched on the Guild web site. Complete extracts have been made from the 1901 census on-line, and sorted into family groups. Some census indexes are also held for other years.
Many PCC Wills have been abstracted from the Sherwood Collection at the SoG, and many grants of probate since 1858 in England and Wales have also been recorded. Records of WW1 Soldiers in Class WO363 at TNA are also being abstracted. We also hold numerous entries from Parish Registers as well as pedigrees submitted by many researchers.
The Sherwood One-Name Study Group is at http://www.sherwoodfam.plus.com
A Sherwood mailing list can be found at:
Related Guild Studies:
The Seagroatt One-Name Study
The Trott One-Name Study
For further information, contact:
Dr Philip J Sherwood
1 Wilton Drive,
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Profiles of other one-name studies registered with the Guild may be found here.