Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 2 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way, but currently in some countries only.
Contact: Mrs Susan Martin
This is a place holder for this One-Name Study profile page.
In previous years the name Steer was often written as Steer. It was obviously the same name. Now the same form of name is used consistently.
Steers is registered as a separate name
Stear is probably a different name although again it was used by or for Steers in the past
The usually quoted origin of the name is that it comes from the animal steer, a castrated male bovine, usually an ox.
A man either worked with steers or resembled a steer. However other explanations have been put forward which I am looking into.
ORIGINS OF THE NAME STEER IN WEST SUSSEX
Steer is at the present day one of the more common Sussex surnames. The name was never confined to Sussex; it has long been a common name in Surrey and there are medieval instances in most counties in the southern half of England. It is now a common name in Devon as well. According to the Domesday Book the personal name Sterre was in use in Hampshire in 1086, and this could possibly have been the origin of the surname in some cases. However the frequent occurance of forms such as le Ster show the name was in most cases derived from a nickname from steer, a young castrated ox, or the use of the word steer to mean strong or stout. The widespread use of the nickname implies it must have conveyed some fairly precise image, understandable over a wide area, but it is now not possible to be sure what impression such a nickname would have given .
In Sussex during the 13th and 14th centuries there were clusters of the name around Lurgashall in the north west of the county and along the central coastal part of the county; Heene, Sompting and Beeding area. It is likely in each case that all the persons involved sprang from the same family. There was a third cluster in East Sussex. No evidence has been found that any of these families originated through migration into the county from outside. In the 15th and 16th centuries there was some expansion from the south coast cluster but a larger expansion from the north-west cluster so that the name became very numerous in the north of the county. Again there is no evidence that this expansion came from migration into the county and seems to have been due to the increase in population.
Information from The Surnames of Sussex by Richard McKinley, 1988
Philip Wilson Steer 1860 - 1942 was a painter of landscapes and occasional portraits and figure studies
Francis Steer was the county archivist in Sussex for many years and contributed much to the study of Sussex history
The 1881 listed 3489 with the name Steer (232 as Steere)
The ONS figures for 2002 give 5809 with the name Steer (326 Steere)
In 1881 the highest occurence of the name was in Devon followed by London, Sussex and Kent.
Most of the data I have so far is from Sussex, and in particular from my family. although I am daily acquiring more information on unrelated Steers, mainly in Sussex. However I am also gradually increasing my data on Steers outside of Sussex. My data comes from GRO registers, census, parish records, wills and probate, military records, poor law records, rates books, manorial records, newspapers
My most recent search has been the
Susan Martin email@example.com
Many genealogical tables of Steers can be found on my website www.freewebs.com/susanhistory
I soon hope to have a dedicated website to Steers up and running
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: