Geographical distribution of the name

The family name has been spelled Sehrbund or Sehrbundt only after the family's appearance in Quedlinburg. In Ober-Olm, where the Quedlinburg line came from, the spelling usually was Serbont.

There are very many family names sounding or being spelled in a similar way. Up to now, we do not know where the Ober-Olm Serbonts came from, though we may assume that their origin has to be searched for in Western Europe.
The following table is a chronological collection of all names that are even remotely similar to Serbont/Sehrbundt. The year given in the table is the earliest appearance in the place as far as it is known to us. As far as possible, the places are identified with zip codes or other additional information. The third column contains the name form and additional information about the families that might be useful.

Without doubt, only a fraction of these families - if at all - really is related to the Serbonts from Ober-Olm. But as long as we do not know where the family came form and what the original spelling of the name was, this table is an interesting tool to follow migration routes. The early entries, therefore, are the most interesting.

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In 1671, a family Serpont appears in Köln; in 1679, they have a daughter Helena christened in the same place. In nearby Heimerzheim, one Wendelin Serpunt appears in 1702, who was married to a Margaretha Eschweiler. He had a son Augustin christened in 1705 and a daughter Anna in 1708, and in 1703 an extramarital daughter named Eva is attributed to him. In the same place, one Helena Serpunt appears as a sponsor in 1706, and then as a child's mother. Apart from these entries, no trace of these families can be found in Köln, Heimerzheim or in the parishes around Heimerzheim (Neukirchen/Straßfeld, Ollheim and Weilerswist were checked). No information at all can be found about their place of origin. Still, the appearance of one Helena in both places seems to suggest that this person is one and the same, and that therefore the two families in Köln and in Heimerzheim are closely connected.

In France, there are some entries, usually with name forms starting with Serv- or Serf-. None of these, however, can be found in the Northeast, like in Lothringen (Lorraine), which would have fitted best to the migration patterns known for the new settlers in Ober-Olm.

One interesting person is one Wendel Zerban who appeared in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, North America, in 1767. According to some dates, he is assumed to have come from the province of "Mantoban" in France, probably referring to Montauban in the South. But Wendel is a completely unusual given name in France and would rather fit into the Saarland/Rheinland area. This is important because the given name Wendelin also appears in the Serbont family in Heimerzheim and Köln.

At least since 1593, a family named Zerban, of reformed faith, lived in Ober-Ingelheim, which is not far from Ober-Olm, but unlike this place belonging to the Electorate Palatine. Since 1712, the given name Wendel appears several times in this family. Among these is one Johann Wendel who was born in 1737 and was still alive in 1758. Age and religion would fit to the Wendel Zerban appearing in Philadelphia. Even more, one Henrich Zerban who emigrated to America in 1792 might be a nephew of this Wendel, who was born in 1771. In this case, Henrich would have followed his uncle to America. Unfortunately, we have no suitable candidate for the Ober-Olm family in this Zerban family from Ober-Ingelheim.

Another interesting item is the appearance of some Zerbin, Zerban and Zerben in Rheinhessen and Württemberg, not too far from Ober-Olm. We will continue to follow these traces.

In Belgium, there is one Servens in 1632, about whom no additional data could be found until now. Then there are the name forms Servais and Servaes, most especially in the area around Malmédy and St. Vith. Not far from this, many evidences can be found in Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland with various spellings like Serve, Servas, Zerfass etc. All these names probably are derived from the given name Servatius, even if there may be closer connections between some of these families on the Belgian and German side of the border. St. Vith also has been identified as one of the regions where the new settlers in Ober-Olm came from after 1648, and the German places with evidences for Serve etc. are not too far from Ober-Olm. Still, there probably is no connection between these groups because the Serve group rather strictly remains with a pronunciation of -v- or -f- in the middle, followed by an -e- and sometimes an -s. The SRBN name forms do not at all appear in this group.

In Belgium, however, there also is a geographical name Serpont, near Libramont in Wallonia. As far as could be determined until now, this seems not to have been a dwelling place, and no family name with any similarity could be found in the area.

In the Netherlands, the spellings Sarvent and Sermont/Sermond, also van Sermond, can be documented since the second half of the 17th century. There has been research about the van Sermond family, which concentrates in the Gelderland (Veluve). The name is said to have come from a place that is named Zoelmond today, and was named Sermond in the past. In the local dialect, the name still is pronounced like Sermond.

Interesting enough, the - probably faked - coat-of-arms made for the Sehrbundt family does place the family's origin in exactly this area, stating that they were descended from one Thomas Seerbundt who lived in Nijmegen around 1557. The family, it also states, originally was named Seerbundt van Harderwyk. The area from Lorraine to the Netherlands would fit best to the migration patterns of the new settlers appearing in Ober-Olm since abt. 1640.

If there really is any connection between Serpont in Belgium or Zoelmond in the Netherlands on the one hand and the Serbont family on the other hand, this family name would denote the family's geographic origin, and it may turn out to be difficult to identify the "original" family name.

In England, there are several different spellings, some with -p-, some with -m-, since the 16th century, though most of the references date to the 18th century and later. With the early English settlers since the mid-17th century, these names also are transferred to the American East Coast, and German and French settlers with similar names joined them in later centuries. The spelling in the US often changes to Sherbon.

Even more clearly, the maps show the geographic distribution of the names similar to Serbont.

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