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One-Name Study


About the Steers One-Name Study

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


The deviants of the name are as follows:


and I am sure there will be more found along the way.

Origin of the surname

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


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.

Frequency of the name

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.

Distribution of the name

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

Devon Marriages

Devon Baptisms

Devon Burials

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

DNA project

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.


The Blog

The Website


Updates via Facebook

Contact details

For further information, contact:

Mrs Carole Steers

Long thin blue line

Profiles of other one-name studies registered with the Guild may be found here.

Page layout © Guild of One-Name Studies 2005

Long thin blue line © Guild of One-Name Studies 2007 This page was last modified 8 Jun 2014, 18:35
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