Missionary Johann A Schürmann (1809-1852)

J A Shurman ~ Person Profile

Overview of personal data.


 Full Birth Name
Johann Adam Schürmann
Other Names / Spellings John Adam Schurman, Schürman, Rev J A Shurman1 ], Sherman
Date of Birth: 10.03.1809 Place of Birth: Schledehausen, near Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Kingdom of Hanover
Date of Death 1.10.1852, 12:15am2 ]
Place of Death: Benares, Northern India
Parents Johann Adam Schuermann, farm worker (1774-26.05.1816)
Maria Elisabeth Schuermann, nee Ebcker (1780-05.12.1826), remarried
Siblings 3 ]
1. Johann Friedrich SCHURMANN+ (*1805, +1845 business man in Cincinnati, Kentucky, USA)
2. Johann Heinrich SCHURMANN (1807-1813)
3. Johann Adam SCHURMANN (SHURMAN)+ (*1809, +1852 Benares (Calcutta), India)
4. Johann Christoph SCHURMANN (1811-1811)
5. Johann Heinrich Christoph SCHURMANN (1813-?, turner, became successful business man in Cincinnati, Kentucky, USA)
6. Clamor Wilhelm SCHURMANN+ (1815-1893)
Married on 02.07.1833, by Rev. Macauly (missionary to the Jews) at Bethel Green Parish Church, London,
Married to Juliana Wilhelmina Cammerer
Children4 ]
1. Juliana Shurman (16.07.1834 - 12.08.1835)
2. Emily Shurman (Sherman, Leavitt, Woodside) (02.08.1835 - 13.02.1909, Cincinatti, Ohio, USA;  buried Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Plot: Garden LN, Section 27, Lot 5, Space 7)5 ]
3. Wilhelm Shurman (08.04.1837, 3am - ?)
4. Henry Shurman (12.04.1839 - ?)6 ]
5. James (19.01.1841 - ?)
Burial European Burying Ground (most likely: Old Christian Cemetery, Varanasi).7 ]

Primary Sources

  • Autobiography [JAS-A] and [JAS-A2006],
    written apparently after Shurman’s arrival in Benares, India and held by the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Council for World Mission – London Missionary Society Archive). The details of this document have still to be verified.  It seems to have been transcribed by Mr. Rex Schurmann (Melbourne, Australia) in the 1970s, in its first part verbatim and then as a summary due to time limits. Jan Schürmann (Schledehausen, Germany) translated it into German in 2006, with some annotations [JAS-A2006].
  • Correspondence with and about John Adam Shurman [JAS-C]
    The JAS correspondence section is composed of three types of letters:
    1.  private correspondence,
    2.  work reports and official communication,
    3.  letters by and reports about JAS published in contemporary mission journals.

    Most of the letters from Shurman's time as a missionary are being held by Archives & Special Collections of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

    Broadly speaking, our collections reflect the British interaction with Africa and Asia over the last 250 years, and include archives of missionary societies, NGOs and campaign groups, and business organisations, as well as papers of individuals, including diplomats, campaigners, and academics.

    In this section I will try to publish as many of his letters and messages relating to him and his work as possible, however, I will exclude information relevant only to his family.

  • Publications
    include bibliographic details about books written by Shurman in his own right as author and co-authored with some of his mission colleagues. 
  • Secondary literature
    Bibliography of a selection of publications relevant for the understanding of the time and context of the work of the LMS mission at Benares, Northern India.

Global Timeline

  1. In the 1840s, "Johann Adam Schürmann had altered his name to John Adam Shurman.  It is said of him that he did this as a gesture to the people he was ministering to, and he spoke and wrote in the language spoken by them." Ted Schurmann (1987), I'd rather dig potatoes, p83.  Most of Shurman's missionary correspondence is signed with this name.  This is why I use this version in this website. [ ▲ ]
  2. see Shurman Correspondence. -- 30.9.1852, quoted by Urban, Sylvanus. 1853. The Gentlemen's Magazine, New Series, Vol. 193  January - June 1853. London. Page 327 (Clergy Deceased). [ ▲ ]
  3. Nagorcka, Trevor. 2003. 223. -- After the father’s death, mother Maria Elisabeth remarried and had three more children. She passed away 1826 after giving birth to twins (?). Jan Schürmann pc 19.07.2012. [ ▲ ]
  4. Data collated by Rex Schurmann [ ▲ ]
  5. Kirkpatrick Family Archives, Person ID: I16361;  visited 5.1.2015 [ ▲ ]
  6. The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British and Foreign India and Australasia, Vol XXIX-New Series. May-August 1839:  Birth, Marriages, and Death. Page 306. Google Books. -- Henry left the "Königliche Elisabethschule" in Berlin in Year 11/Obersekunda (Realschule), probably in July 1856, to become  trades person/merchant. -- See also Schulnachrichten : Von Ostern 1856 bis Ostern 1857 [School News from Easter 1856 to Easter 1857], in Jahres-Bericht über die Königliche Realschule, Vorschule und Elisabethschule zu Berlin, womit zu den öffentlichen Prüfungen der Realschule und Vorschule ... am 7. und 8. April [1857] ... einladet der Direktor Ranke. [Annual Report of the Royal Secondary, Pre-School and Elisabeth-School ...]  Berlin 1857. Page 58, for the school subjects see pages 49 and 54. Google Book. [ ▲ ]
  7. Cemetery Rd / Guman Singh Marg, Azad Nagar Colony, Phulwari Village, Varanasi Cantt, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221002, India.  Geo coordinates: 25.329483, 82.966488.  [Google Maps], [Here.com]. Jan Schürmann found the grave in 2008. -- For details see letters by Kennedy and Buyers. [ ▲ ]

For reference:

Administrator. Missionary Johann A Schürmann (1809-1852) :: J A Shurman ~ Person Profile, in: Pirltawardli Research Website. Adelaide 2022.
(Created: 14.11.2014. Last updated: 23.03.2016.)
Direct URL: <www.grweb.org/cpo-pirltawardli/en/detail.php?rubric=other_ShurmannJA&nr=421>. Viewed 08.07.2022.