The journey into the origin of the STEERS surname began in 2012. I'm currently in the process of collating basic data and will update this page as I go. For on-the-go updates please do visit my blog (the address is below).
Please feel free to get in touch and I will do my best to assist you. I will respond to all enquires, whether I can help or not.
The following variants have been added to The Study
STEARS, STEARES, STEERES, STIERS, STEIRS
The deviants of the name are as follows:
STAIRS, STARES, STEAR, STEARE, STEER, STEERE, STERE, STORRS, STURE
and I am sure there will be more found along the way.
It must be mentioned that in all the dictionaries STEERS is not given its own entry, instead it sits alongside STEER. The only source that mentions STEERS independently is the Surname Database (Source 5), however this links back to STEER.
The addition of the S to the end of STEER would suggest that the first STEERS was the ‘son of a STEER’ but until this is evidenced I won’t be presuming!
As for the name STEER all agree that it has its origins in the Old English, and comes from the word Stēor “a steers / young ox”. Reaney (Sources: 1,2,3) tells us that STEER is also Nickname Surname and would have been given to person’s whose characterises resemble that of a steer, as for Robert LE STEER who was mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of the County of Sussex, in the year 1296.
The variations of the name from these sources are given as
STEERE, STEERS, STEAR, STEARS
The Surname Database (Source 5) also mentions the following variations; STEAMAN, STERMAN, STEERSON but it does not provided source citations for these. Until I find more reliable citations for these three names I’ll not be following them up.
1. Reaney, P.H. & Wilson, R.M. (1995) A Dictionary of English Surnames: The Standard Guide to English Surnames. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p.426.
2. Reaney, Percy H. (1967) The origin of English Surnames. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p.263
3. Reaney, Percy H. and Wilon, Richard M. (1976) A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2nd Ed. p.332
4. Bardsley, Charles W. E. (1901) A dictionary of English and Welsh surnames, with special American instances. London: H. Frowde. p.715
5. Name Origin Research. (1980-2014) The Internet Surname Database. http://www.surnamedb.com : accessed 20 May 2011.
In order to capture the size of my ONS I have taken the average number of 'hits' from the main genealogy sites (Family Search, FMP and Ancestry). I have not yet checked all the 'hits' for accuracy as this study is in its infancy; however I believe that by doing it this way I will have a relatively accurate overview of my task ahead.
Initial research suggests that there are three areas of STEERS / STEARS. Generally STEARS appears to be the northern spelling, centring on the Riding's of Yorkshire. There is also a cluster of STEARS in Lancashire (around Liverpool) and it may be that these are a branch of the Yorkshire STEARS.
The other two groupings are in Middlesex, and the Surrey / Kent regions. The dominant spelling appears to be STEERS, but there is a small cluster of STEARES that are focused on Portsea, Hampshire.
England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills & Administrations), 1858-1966
England & Wales Marriages, 1538-1940
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1659-1812
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, Marriages & Banns, 1813-1921
London, England, Births & Baptisms, 1813-1906
London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965
London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980
London, England Marriages & Banns, 1754-1921
Pallot’s Marriage Index for England, 1780-1837
West Yorkshire, England, Marriages & Banns, 1813-1922
Parish Records Collection, 1538-2005
England Deaths & Burials, 1538-1991
England & Wales Non-Conformist Records Index (RG4-8)
Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates; various dates
England & Wales Census Returns 1841-1861, 1911 – accessed at Ancestry and Find My Past.
FreeBMD, Births, Marriages & Death 1837-1940
Guild of One-Name Studies Marriage Challenge (challenges offered May 2011 to present)
Manchester, England, Non-Conformist Marriages, 1758-1937
Ireland, Index to Wills, 1384-1858
Ireland, Select Cathoilic Birth and Baptism Reigsters, 1763-1912
Dorset, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906
Dorset, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813- 2001
Royal Navy Officers 1899 - 1919 ADM 196
Royal Navy Marines 1899 - 1919 ADM 159
Royal Navy Seamen 1899 - 1919 ADM 188
Shropshire Baptisms, 1538-1900
Shropshire Marriages, 1538-1900
Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942
Surrey Quarter Sessions 1780-1820
Doncaster Burials 1538-1978
Doncaster Baptisms 1538-1986
Berkshire Baptisms 1538-1928
Cheshire Land Tax Assessments 1786-1832
Berkshire Marriages 1538-1927
Berkshire Burials 1536-1962
British Royal Navy Personnel 1831
Dorset Baptisms 1538-1978
Dorset Marriages 1538-1902
Dorset Burials 1538-1995
2014 sees the introduction of the STEERS DNA project. If you would like to participate please do get in touch. Further information can be found via the link below.
For further information, contact:
Mrs Carole Steers
Profiles of other one-name studies registered with the Guild may be found here.