Explore the Family Name Sherman

The meaning of Sherman

1. English (London): occupational name denoting someone who used shears to trim the surface of finished cloth and remove excessive nap, from Middle English sherman, shirman, sharman ‘shearman’. 2. Americanized form of North German Schürmann (see Schuermann) and of German or Jewish (Ashkenazic) Schermann. 3. Jewish (Ashkenazic): occupational name for a tailor, from Yiddish sher ‘scissors’ + man ‘man’. History: Roger Sherman (1722–93), the only man to sign all three documents at the foundation of the American republic (the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the US Constitution), was born in Newton, MA, a descendant of Capt. John Sherman, who had emigrated c.1636 to MA from Dedham, Essex, England, where his father was a farmer, following his brother Edmund, who had emigrated two years earlier. A descendant of Edmund Sherman was the US general William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–91), who led the Union march through GA. He was born in Lancaster, OH, the son of a judge; his middle name was bestowed in honor of a Shawnee chieftain.

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Sherman in the United States?

Based on the data from the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Sherman has slightly decreased in the past decade. In the year 2000, Sherman ranked 422nd in popularity among all surnames in the United States. By 2010, it had fallen to the 469th position, marking a decline of 11.14%. However, the actual count of people bearing this surname increased marginally by 0.95% from 69,840 to 70,502 during the same period. The proportion per 100,000 people also fell by 7.69% from 25.89 to 23.9.

Proportion per 100k25.8923.9-7.69%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Sherman

The ethnic identity associated with the surname Sherman has seen some changes over the years, as reflected in the Decennial U.S. Census data. While the majority of Sheramans are White, with 82.74% in 2010, down 2.56% from 84.91% in 2000, other ethnic identities have seen increases. The proportion of Shermans identifying as Hispanic saw the greatest increase, up 57.43% to 2.33% in 2010 from 1.48% in 2000. Those identifying as Asian or Pacific Islander increased by 36.96% to 0.63%, and those claiming two or more races grew by 29.63% to 1.75%. Black Shermans increased by 6.15% to 11.57%, and American Indian and Alaskan Native Shermans saw a rise of 7.69% to 0.98%.

Two or More Races1.35%1.75%29.63%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.91%0.98%7.69%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.46%0.63%36.96%

Sherman ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Sherman is British & Irish, which comprises 38.1% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.9%) and Ashkenazi Jewish (18.3%). Additional ancestries include Eastern European, Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese, and Indigenous American.

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British & Irish38.1%
French & German21.9%
Ashkenazi Jewish18.3%

Possible origins of the surname Sherman

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Sherman have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater London, United Kingdom71.30%
Merseyside, United Kingdom71.10%
West Midlands, United Kingdom70.90%
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom70.90%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom70.60%

What Sherman haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Sherman is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-L21 and R-U152, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Hopkins, Cameron, Prince, Phillips, Morgan, Lloyd, Howe, Oliver, Hughes, Jones.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Sherman surname are: T2b, H, H1. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

shermanPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Sherman have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Sherman" Surname 42.9%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Sherman" Surname 28.1%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Sherman" Surname 20.8%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Sherman" Surname 17.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Sherman?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Sherman are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%