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Teear, Tear, Teare, Teer, McTear


About the study

Robert Tear
My One Name Study  is dedicated to Robert Tear CBE renowned 'Welsh Tenor & Conductor' who died prematurely in 2011, he was the most famous of my Welsh Teear/Tear family line.
Robert was very impressed with the work I was doing on our Family History, but sadly didn't have the time to look into his family history and like me wanted to know the origins of our family name, it was obvious it wasn't named after a place, a job or trade, it's even been suggested there are French origins, who knows and so the Teear One-Name study commenced in November 2012.

Like many one-name studies, it grew out of an attempt to trace my own ancestry and it's my mother's birth name Teear, which has always rather intrigued me. I initially was looking to find and trace my Welsh Teear family.

I had found my Grandfather and Great grandfather and their immediate families sorted, but then kept getting information for the Teear name, which was directing me to Leicestershire, this was where I discovered my Teear family line originally came from and I have followed this back as far as the 1500's.

My 2x Great Grandfather started off the Welsh Teear/Tear lines after leaving the Leicestershire village of Husbands Bosworth between 1841 - 1851 and then marrying his wife in Rosemarket in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1855, hence my Quest began.

I'd like to someday discover the origins of my Teear family name, as it's so unusual.

Variant names

I have added 4 variants of my Teear family name: Tear, Teare, Teer & McTear, there is a strong possibility that the family names all originated from Ireland or Scotland initially and from Scandinavia going further back in time.
The Census records throughout time have show many of the names recorded as Tecar, Lear, Tare & Seer, even Leer on occasions and this is only a few, mainly due to mis-spelling. I guess this was probably down to local dialect and the lack of education in some family members.

The first name Teear is the 2nd least common of my study names, which I know has been used by my direct Welsh line and the ones from Leicestershire.

The 2nd name Tear variant is the most common of the variant names, especially in Lancashire and the Isle of Man. 

The 3rd name Teare is the 2nd of the most common of the variant names, especially  in Lancashire and the Isle of Man.

The 4th variant name Teer is the least common of all the variant names, a few in Leicestershire & the Isle of Man, but mostly they were found to be from Lancashire again.

The 5th variant name of McTear, as the name suggest, is mostly to be found in Scotland, although I do have evidence that some moved down from Scotland into Lancashire and dropped the 'Mc'. Along with the other Mc variants. Mc Mac being 'the son of' .......?

Name origin

So far I have traced my direct line of the Teear family name back to Leicestershire in the villages around Market Harborough, mainly from the villages of Saddington (the attached photo is of St Helen's Church in Saddington)  Husbands Bosworth, Smeaton Westerby and Kibworth Beauchamp,this is the area where there are the largest recorded number of Teears.
I do know for sure that some from the area were also recorded as Tear in Birth, Marriage & Death registrations. I also know for sure that the ones who migrated around different parts of England, especially Lancashire also like my Welsh line, dropped a 'e'.

However there are some Scottish Teear,Tear,Teare, Teer and the Mc variant family members, a very large number Tear and Teare families also live in the Isle of Man and I need to delve further to see if we are linked, perhaps the Teears moved down from Scotland and across to the Isle of Man, only time will tell.

I have come a cross a story in a letter from a man called Thomas Teare from the Isle of Man who emigrated to America, about how he had heard the Teare/Tear family name came to be on the island. He was told about a man named William McTear from Scotland, who had been in some sort of 'Trouble' and then moved to the Isle of Man with 3 of his sons. This is just one of the many different stories I've heard, I shall be collecting these and people may make their own minds up for what they feel is right.

Historical occurrences of the name

Robert Tear CBE the renowned Welsh Tenor and conductor (Born in Wales & Died in March 2011) Robert 'Bob' was a very talented man from the Welsh town of Barry. His family we church goers who liked to sing, many of the Teear/Tear children attended Sunday School and sang in their local Church Choir's. Robert went a step further and brought to the world the sound of Wales.

Constance Hannah 'Connie' Tear was born in 1908 in Newport, Monmouthshire in Wales, she was an only child, her mother died soon after giving birth to 'Connie', but the Tear family all rallied around to give her and her father, Robert all the support they needed. She was a well educated lady and a talented writer who wrote Historical Novels and wrote for Children's stories for the BBC. She never married and died in Cardiff in 1976.

Graham Robert John Byron Teear was an Canadian Actor and Television performer, who with his wife Harriet starred in the Toronto version of the musical 'Hair' in the mid 1970's. Born in Cardiff Wales, the family moved to Canada in 1953. Graham died prematurely of a Brain Hemorrhage in Toronto in Canada in 1986 aged 50yrs, he was my mother's cousin. Graham and Harriet had two daughters.

Name frequency

The 1881 England Census recorded that 56% of Teear family members were living in the county of Leicestershire (9 of 16) 38% of Teear family members were living in the County of Somerset (6 of 16 people) and in Lancashire there was 8% (1 of 8)

The 1881 Scottish Census recorded that 50% of Teear family members were living in Stirlingshire(1 of 2)

I know some of the Teear lines are going to disappear in the not too distant future, mainly due to the lack of son's to carry on the name. I would like soon to work out the ratio of Male to Female family members and to also do this for all the named variants. So this is on going work.

I have added some Maps showing the distribution of all the study names in the 1881 Census.

1881 McTear Distribution Map


1881 Tear Distribution Map

1881 Teare Distribution Map

1881 Teear Distribution Map

1881 Teer Distribution Map


Distribution of the name

According to an ONS database there are some 69 Teear as of September 2002 in England and Wales, so as you can work out it's a rare name. This suggests that the Teear name is slow growing than the population as a whole.

But throughout Great Britain they moved to Lancashire, into Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire with some splintering off into Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 

I know for a fact Teear families emigrated to Canada, the USA, other areas of the world, so this awaits further investigation as to where in the 4 corners of the world they also migrated to.

I have records showing that many of the other variant names also migrated away from England, to America, Australia, New Zealand, to mention just a few, again this is on-going work.






I am at the 'Gathering' stage at the moment, it's just the fact of collating all the different types of records together and recording them in an appropriate manner.
I have finished recording all the Birth Registration Records for my ONS. These have now been uploaded onto the Guild Archive Page, to enable anyone to do a search for Teear,Tear,Teare & Teer & McTear Births.

I have now added the Death Registration Records in England & Wales for both Teear, Teare, Teer, Tear & McTear.

All England & Wales Marriage Registrations for McTear, Tear, Teare, Teer & Teear are now available on the Archive Page.

Ireland, Civil Registration Births Index, 1864-1958 for McTear are now uploaded onto the Archive Page for searching. Marriages and Deaths to follow. I have also collected these records for M'Ateer, Mateer, M'Atear, McTyre & McTeir, but as they are not part of the study, officially they have not been added, please ask if you require information on any of these names.

Ireland, Civil Registration Deaths Index, 1864-1958 for McTear are now uploaded onto the Archive Page for searching. Marriages to follow. I have also collected these records for M'Ateer, Mateer, M'Atear, McTyre & McTeir, but as they are not part of the study, officially they have not been added, please ask if you require information on any of these names.

I do have an extensive about of Data available in my own Archives, so please do contact me, it's possible I may already have what your looking for and can help you with your discovery.

I also have a large number of Family Tree's constructed for many of the variants, so please do contact me for more information as I might already have your line added.

Much of this is also added to my website, you will also find Census information for the Isle of Man 1841 - 1901 and England & Wales census information 1841 - 1911 for all study names.

Some interesting Data on Study name Occupations in the 1881 England & Wales Census.

McTear 1881 Census - Occupations

Teare 1881 Census - Occupations

Tear 1881 Census - Occupations

Teear 1881 Census - Occupations

Teer 1881 Census - Occupations


I have now started a Dna project for my study, this can be found at, where you can also contact me about the study.


This year I have been working with my friend Mike Teare ( on the WW1 Teare Memorial Page to highlight the Teare men who died in WW1. We are to extend this to Tear men also, this is work in progress, but you can see the project so far on  the link below:

The study also has a Facebook page. If your interested just enter Teear, Tear, Teare, Teer & McTear to find us.


The One-Name Study now has a website, go to, this is WIP>