About the study
The journey into the origin of the STEERS surname began in 2012. I'm currently in the process of collecting the basic data, and I 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 enquiries, whether I can currently help or not.
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 (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 Steer / a steers / young ox. Reaney (1,2,3) tells us that STEER is also Nickname Surname and would have been given to persons 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 (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.
- 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.
- Reaney, Percy H. (1967) The origin of English Surnames. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p.263
- Reaney, Percy H. and Wilon, Richard M. (1976) A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2nd Ed. p.332
- Bardsley, Charles W. E. (1901) A dictionary of English and Welsh surnames, with special American instances. London: H. Frowde. p.715
- Name Origin Research. (1980-2014) The Internet Surname Database. http://www.surnamedb.com : accessed 20 May 2011.
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
- Pallotâs 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 â 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