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Our 2,744 members have registered
2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The STEAD/STEED One-Name Study is a non-profit making Family History Society, was formed on 1st April 1996 after a sizeable number of enquiries regarding these surnames. The Study is registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in London (No. 2519).

The Study's web site is: and is run by Robert Steed, who may be e-mailed at:

Shelagh Mason Founded the Study in 1986, but no longer runs the Study. Shelagh is the Study's Newsletter Editor.

Parish records (all denominations) and Bishop's Transcripts, &c.
International Genealogical Index (IGI) transcripts
The General Record Office Index
Census returns and indexes
Marriage licences and banns
Poor Law and Resettlement Indexes
Rate books, poll books, tithes and other local records
Wills, probate, indentures and inventories, including some from the Borthwick Wills Collection
Directories, newspapers and magazines
Photographs, certificates, family trees and other personal records and finally, but far from least, the Internet &c.

The study is producing databases of both the parish register and census types &c. by county/country. Searches of the databases are free, but an SAE or equivalent is always gratefully received. Wherever possible, the information is from original documentation or microfilmed copies of the originals.

Services to Members

The study publishes a quarterly newsletter which contains new members information and contact (address and email only - it is not our policy to publish member's telephone numbers) and the information they have or are searching for. Other sections may include: new records available; work in progress; computers and the internet; miscellaneous articles of interest (a right hotch-potch!); census returns, and there is at least one large article per newsletter - but contents do vary.

A directory is published annually listing all member's names, postal and e-mail addresses, their Stead/Steed Interests and the other surnames they are researching. The directory also lists the current records held by the Study in considerable detail. Both the newsletters and the directory are included in the annual subscription.

Our main aims are to connect as many people as possible, and to flesh out the bare information to make the study both interesting and useful. In this, we have already been more successful than we could possibly have hoped.

Variant names

The Study aims to collect all possible information on the STEAD and STEED surnames and all variants, including STED, STEADE, STEADS, STADE, STEDE, STEEDE, STEDS, STEEDS, STID, STIDD & STIDE worldwide from as diverse a range of sources as possible, i.e:

Name origin

The surnames Stead and Steed have evolved from the early STEDE, which appears to originate from that geographical areas currently known as Germany.

Historical occurrences of the name

Notable Stead/Steeds include:

William Thomas Stead, Newspaper Editor and infamous social campaigner, who actually DID die on the Titanic. He was on his way to deliver a series of lectures at Carneigie Hall, New York.

Henry Wickham Steed, Editor of The Times - another person who was always whizzing around the World.

The Stede's of Stede Hill, Harrietsham, Kent - to whom so many erronously believe they are related through Edwin Stede - who - umm - died without issue in 1735...:-)

The Steade's of Onseacre and Bradfield, South Yorkshire - thence Beauchief Abbey, Derbyshire - a family that actually can be traced back to the 13th century!

Name frequency

Vast numbers of Stead in Yorkshire, most Steed's in Kent. This area needs a LOT more work.

Distribution of the name

Stead can mostly be found in Yorkshire and Steed is the southern variant, lurking in large numbers in Kent and Suffolk, but also to be found in Hampshire, Devon, Dorset, etc. Steeds (with the 's' on the end) is very much a Somerset variant.


Family Information Database
This contain all the family information provided by our members, including some family pictures and other surnames to which they are related. Is someone else researching the same line as you?

General Register Office Index
Here you can view ALL the STEAD/STEED entries in the General Register Office Index of Births, Marriage and Deaths in England & Wales from 1837 to 1900.

Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates
We have a rapidly-expanding collection of STEAD/STEED Birth, Marriages and Death certificates, dating from 1837 onwards.

Wills & Probate Indexes
Explore our extensive databases of over 2,500 STEAD/STEED Wills and Probate records, dating from 1570 to 1930.