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John & listers,
I was sent this link today, so thought I'd see if there were any of my STEER
family in Australia
Select "Record Search" where you will find 235 STEER entries, many of which
have Digital copies of the records available.
Some of the entries refer to steer riding etc, but there is an option to
'exclude' words from the search.
It may just help if you have lost an ancestor somewhere in Australia.
Another great tool which I was sent recently is a Surname Navigator at
then select the country of your choice & be ready for a surprise. It
certainly saves you having to go from site to site searching.
Researching STEER families in Surrey, Kent & Sussex.
Hello Jack: I've been digging about on the Net trying to come up with some
clues, but without much success. It's certain that some family tree surname
branches can't bear fruit. In my own case, with two daughters, no more
STEERs. My brother (deceased) had one son, a bachelor, no more STEERs, and
my sister married and became nee STEER (with an acute accent on the first
e), but no more STEERs. We've seen this phenomenon with the STUREs of Huish
and Marridge. If my memory serves me, the LEE-STEEREs had to take
extraordinary measures to ensure continuence of their version of the name,
with one of the HARRISONs having to change his name to LEE-STEERE in order
to inherit whatever was being passed down. If I'm not mistaken, descendants
of the famous William STERE, the martyr of Ashford in Kent, moved over to
the New World in order to continue the line. I recall reading somewhere or
other that one of them played a part in founding Harvard Uni. It's quite
likely that the Beer "STARREs on Hie, for where should a STARRE bee but on
hie", disappeared in much the same manner. I don't know how we'd find out
what happened to them. I've been looking for a Sidmouth Historical Society.
I see there's a Devon Historical Society but that it doesn't seem to have a
Sidmouth branch. I've also searched on Beer Historical Society, and have
found that the Brooklyn Historical Society in the States have celebrated
local brewing by creating a beer garden and serving beer at some of their
meetings. Can't honestly say that I've seen much correspondence from Listies
from the East Devon area over the past several years. Perhaps from Crediton
occasionally. In response to John's comments about dialect, I think in Bovey
years ago people would have pronounced Beer, something like Be-ur. There's a
very old farm on the Moretonhampstead road called Beara, and it was
pronounced Be-ara, with not much of a pause between the first and second
syllable. However, when I was growing up in the 40's and 50's, dialect had
started to die out, perhaps with the advent of Stewart Hibberd and the BBC.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Steer" <jacks(a)bukanin.fsnet.co.uk>
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 7:52 PM
Subject: [STEER] Was STEER a STAR?
> I've just added the STAR/STARE/STARR/STARRE/STAAR entries from the IGI
into my Devon STEER marriage file and have started to wonder whether some at
least of these entries were transcribed or written by the original clerk
incorrectly. Or whether the STAR etc families simply died out or moved away.
There's been something not quite right with Rootsweb lists this last week.
There was an acknowledged problem a few days ago for a period of supposedly
a few hours when messages weren't getting through but I think there may have
been more of a problem. I've noticed that other messages haven't made it to
the list. The last message from Jack hadn't got to the list or to the admin
address but was found elsewhere from where I was able to forward it.
If you've sent a message recently and not seen it arrive on the list then
please resend it. Normally messages that don't make it to the list will be
sent to me but not necessarily recently, although whatever was the problem
has apparently now been fixed.
John Steer, Dorking, England
Jack & Everyone,
I've read through Jack's message a number of times and it is encouraging
some ideas of the pronunciation or spelling of the Steer surname, the
message is thought provoking.
There are two questions:
1) Is the possible STEER-STAR mutation phonetic or literate?
2) Can someone with a knowledge of the Devon accent say how the name Beer
(as in the village) was pronounced?
Of all the spelling variations of the Steer surname it is the pronunciation
that matters and of these I think there are two forms, single and double
sounding, the difference is between the pronunciations of the words "bear"
and "beer" respectively (think of it as "bear" and "be-er"). The idea that
I'd like to test - and do shoot me down if wrong, and I'm generalising- is
that the single form of the surname, akin to "bear", was used in south-west
England, Devon & Cornwall, and elsewhere the pronunciation was akin to two
sounds in "be-er".
The ideas are only beginning but worth offering for scrutiny, here's some of
the still limited reasoning. I've had some correspondence with some native
Lincolnshire (mid-eastern England) speakers and they point out that in the
county pronunciation of double vowels are separated so they would say
"mo-uth" rather than "mouth", I can attest to this as a great aunt from
Lincolnshire would say when she was lost that she was trying to find her
"be-arings" rather than her "bearings". (There is, however, an important
caveat which is the evolution of pronunciation and spelling before the
latter became standardised and before literacy became commonplace - it
didn't matter that you said "mo-uth" if you didn't write it down.)
I'm going to speculate. A branch of the Lincolnshire Steer family emigrated
to Michigan in the 1850s and what happen there was that the spelling of the
name reverted to Stear and even Steear. From my working time in the U.S.,
east and north west coasts, I noticed a tendency to be phonetically precise
with pronunciation and spelling, e.g. if you said your name was "Windsor"
(pronounced Windser in England) they'd write Windser, and if you wrote your
name "Windsor" they'd say "Wind-sOr". So was the Michigan spelling of
"Stear" reinforcing the pronunciation which was akin to "be-er". Any
comments from our American cousins would be most welcome particularly about
phonetic and spelling precision, given the variations in American accents.
If the south west English pronunciation of the surname was closer to the
short form "bear" then phonetically it is easier to mutate to STAR, STAIR
etc., and to have changed from STURE.
Hence the question, how did the local Devonians pronounce the name of the
village of Beer? Real evidence is crucial and as Jack suggests following
those Seaton and Beer families should be done; along with other likely
similar cases it probably needs to be done. Your thought are welcome and
please throw in your ideas, we need those to know what questions to ask.
John Steer, Dorking, England
Does anyone have a contact address for the Port Isaac Historical Society,
Cornwall, England? I've found something on the internet about them but no
contact address, email or otherwise.
John Steer, Dorking, England
From Swansea Heritage Net
This Amazonian parrot was brought back from Pernambuco, South America, by Swansea seaman Tom Eynon as a gift for his sister, Freda, in 1912-13. On the parrot's demise in 1921, it was preserved and mounted by James Steer, Corn and Seed Merchant and Bird and Animal Preserver of 8 Alexandra Arcade, Swansea. The museum also holds Mr.Steer's invoice for taxidermy services performed and a receipt for 10/= given in return for the Eynon's deposit put down on a 'parrot in case'.
Mr Thomas Cartwright of Beaden Well, in the parish of Erith in this county, farmer, died 28.3.1831 aged 78. Also Mr Robert Steer died 23.10.1869 aged 64 and Mary Ann wife of the above Robert Steer died 15.3.1901 aged 91.
From another list...
"...The 1841 and 1891 census of Cornwall are both now complete and are on
Cornwall On-line Census Project website at
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~kayhin/cocp.html. The details are
being uploaded to FREECEN. There is a final exercise underway to tidy up a
few unreadable entries in the 1841 census. This is the first county in
England to have these censuses completed for on-line use. The 1851 and
1861 censuses have large chunks completed, and a start will shortly be made
on the 1871 census.
You can search for a surname on the Cornwall censuses at
I've just added the STAR/STARE/STARR/STARRE/STAAR entries from the IGI into my Devon STEER marriage file and have started to wonder whether some at least of these entries were transcribed or written by the original clerk incorrectly. Or whether the STAR etc families simply died out or moved away.
As the sample cannot be regarded as representative of the county as a whole, nor even a random sample, I have not come to any definite conclusion, but would suggest that it is probably safer, when looking for an elusive STEER marriage in Devon, to include STAR etc in the search parameters.
I have 146 STAR etc entries from the IGI and expected them to peak in the eighteenth century, with a few in the sixteenth (not many entries and lost registers), some more in the seventeenth (lost registers and the black hole of the civil war) and tailing off in the nineteenth (few IGI entries go beyond 1837). That is not the case.
Of these a few might be discounted as they are STARE entries and past experience has suggested that this is an alternative spelling for STEER. But taking these out makes little difference to the overall pattern:-
In some parishes STAR etc surnames are almost the only STEER like names, Colyton and Seaton and Beer are the two largest examples. Colyton has twelve entries between 1582 and 1664, with a solitary STARE in 1582. Seaton and Beer has 33 (I discounted the two ancestral file entries) from 1584 to 1691 with no STEER etc entries. Of those 33 entries there are only eight STAR etc grooms, so either the families had a tendency to produce girls, or more probably the males were married elsewhere. As far I know this STAR family was fairly well to do and are more likely to have been able to migrate to collect a bride. But the decline in the number of marriages in this parish is even more marked:-
I do not know what happened to them, but suggest that the male members of the family simply moved away. Even taking the Seaton and Beer entries out of the total figures for Devon does not create the pattern I expected:-
In other parishes such as Bovey Tracey there is only one amongst a large number of STEER etc entries (28.7.1728 - William PARR to Mary STARE) and in the South Hams as a whole there in only one (27.12.1709 - Samuel STAR to Joanna WARDEN in Kingsbridge).
But in Exeter there are examples of parishes where the STAR like names appear to transmute to STEER like names. In Exeter St Thomas the Apostle there is this sequence:-
1598 - STARRE
1667 - STARE
1673 - STEYERE
1692 - STEER
1694 - STEAR
1711 - STERE
1735, 1747, and 1751 - STEER
1791 - STAR
In Exeter St Sidwell:-
1618 - STURE
1630 - STARRE
1659 - STARR
1692 - STEARE
1740, 1817 and 1828 - STEER
There is not enough evidence to make a decision on this quandary, either for or against. Perhaps the best bet is to try and find out what happened to the family that was based on Seaton and Beer. Who is going to volunteer?
What a beautiful description of the burial ground at Venn, Jack! Thank you
From: Jack Steer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 22 May 2004 10:40
Subject: [STEER] More snippets
The 1861 census for Warbstowe, Cornwall has Steers Mill unoccupied. Is
anyone else interested in any STEER family from Cornwall.
I am told that the Baptist burial ground at Venn, Aveton Gifford, Devon was
given to that sect in about 1673. They had started in the area about 1620.
It is on a hillside overlooking the Aune valley surrounded with seven-foot
walls on three sides with a lower one of about three feet, so that one sees
the view. This time of year wild flowers like bluebells, campions and
primroses are in abundance and there should also be fritillary and orange
tip butterflies. At least one slow worm lives on the site, all the varieties
of snails found in Devon are here together with some enormous slugs.
Amongst the flowers and nettles are two one STEER graves:-
Edmund STEER died March 1814, age 3 years and 5 months.
Phillip STEER, died 9th June 1785 age 53 years, also Mary his wife, died
14th November 1797 aged 65 years.
I can find no other STEER gravestones recorded. As far as I can tell there
are no Baptist registers available for inspection that relate to the
==== STEER Mailing List ====
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Gain access to over two billion names including the new Immigration
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The 1861 census for Warbstowe, Cornwall has Steers Mill unoccupied. Is anyone else interested in any STEER family from Cornwall.
I am told that the Baptist burial ground at Venn, Aveton Gifford, Devon was given to that sect in about 1673. They had started in the area about 1620. It is on a hillside overlooking the Aune valley surrounded with seven-foot walls on three sides with a lower one of about three feet, so that one sees the view. This time of year wild flowers like bluebells, campions and primroses are in abundance and there should also be fritillary and orange tip butterflies. At least one slow worm lives on the site, all the varieties of snails found in Devon are here together with some enormous slugs.
Amongst the flowers and nettles are two one STEER graves:-
Edmund STEER died March 1814, age 3 years and 5 months.
Phillip STEER, died 9th June 1785 age 53 years, also Mary his wife, died 14th November 1797 aged 65 years.
I can find no other STEER gravestones recorded. As far as I can tell there are no Baptist registers available for inspection that relate to the Kingsbridge chapel
Steve Steere has kindly sent the Hampshire 1841 census entries where they
were legible, this was no small task so many thanks to Steve.
The information will go on to the web site but I'll post here anything that
is of immediate interest, this entry will be of interest to Graeme. Usual
caveats about the 1841 census, family relationships were not recorded and
adults' ages should be rounded down to the nearest five years but this
wasn't always adhered to.
HO 107/395 Page 9 Folio 7b
John DAVID, 74, Carpenter
Ann DAVID, 65,
Thomas FRY, 69, Carpenter
Harriett STEER, 30,
Laura POTTER, 27,
James STEER, 5,
Catherine STEER, 2,
John STEER, 10? months,
James POTTER, 2,
Ann POTTER, 6 months,
Albert ?STER, 9,
All born in the same county
Below for comparison is the 1851 census for Harriett's family. There is no
sign yet of Harriett's husband James in 1841, it looks as if Harriett's
parents are John and Ann DAVID unless one of them had remarried.
HO 107/1679 Folio 148b-149a
Nether St, Alton, Hampshire
Name; Relation; Status; Sex; Age; Occupation; Birthplace
James STEER; Head; Mar; M; 39; Ostler; Hants, Odiham;
Harriet STEER; Wife; Mar; F; 40; ; Hants, South Warnborough;
James STEER; Son; ; M; 14; Errand Boy; Hants, South Warnborough;
Catherine STEER; Daur; ; F; 12; Scholar; Hants, Winchfield;
Ernest STEER; Son; ; M; 6; Scholar; Hants, South Warnborough;
Julia STEER; Daur; ; F; 4; ; Hants, Alton;
Ann STEER; Daur; ; F; 2; ; Hants, Alton;
Ann DAVID; Mother in Law;W ; F; 73; ; Hants, Eling;
John Steer, Dorking, England
I have had a further 2 very interesting emails in addition to the first 2 re.Steers in Jamaica and Brett Ashmeade-Hawkins who sent them to me has very kindly said I could send them to the Steer site.
Linley Hooper very kindly sent me the link with the Conran family.
I am sure someone on the Steer list might know of some of the Steers mentioned. I have been trying to find out to which Steer family Col. Charles Steer belongs. Hopefully someone on the list might know. It is all very interesting information anyway.
Below are the 4 emails I have had re. Steers in Jamaica from Brett Asmeade-Hawkins
I finally found my Genealogical Tree of the Steer Family of
Jamaica, though I don't think it is going to be of much help to you. It
starts with Col. Charles Steer of Trafalgar Estate, St. Ann,
but there is no mention of his parents, though it is known that the Steer
family were settled in Jamaica from the middle of the 18th Century. It is
also known that the Steers intermarried with two other familes named Melmoth
and Hall who lived in Jamaica in the 18th Century, but no one has yet been
able to disentangle their relationship. The problem is that Volume I of the
St. Ann Vestry Records, which contained the records of all Births, Marriages
and Deaths in St. Ann Parish prior to 1763, mysteriously disappeared many
years ago and so it is very difficult to reconstruct the genealogy of the
old planter families in St. Ann during the early to mid 18th Century. There
may be some connection between your ancestors and the Steer family of
Jamaica, but I am unable to confirm it from the records that I have seen.
The Charles William Steer that you mention as being a pupil
at Marlborough was indeed born in Jamaica. He was actually the son of John
Thomas Steer, Esq. of Bradfield and Trafalgar Plantations, St. Ann, Jamaica,
and the grandson of Col. Charles Steer of Trafalgar Plantation. He was born
in St. Ann in 1835 and like most planters' sons in Jamaica was sent home to
England to be educated. He later returned to Jamaica in the 1850s and became
a Planting Attorney, that is an Agent managing the plantations of absentee
proprietors living in Britain. By 1878 he had inherited Bradfield
Plantation, leased Blenheim Plantation and was managing Trafalgar, Prosper
Hall, Tydenham, Crescent Park and Mammee Ridge Plantations, all in St. Ann
Parish. In 1892 he became the Hon. Charles Wiiliam Steer when the Governor
appointed him as Custos (Chief Magistrate) of St. Ann. This is an office
similar to that of the Lord-Lieutenant of an English County. "Busha" Steer,
as he was affectionately known to all ("Busha" is a term of respect for a
white man in Jamaica, similar to that of "Sahib" in India or "Bwana" in
Africa), held the office of Custos of St. Ann until his death in 1896. A
large oil portrait of him still hangs in the St. Ann's Bay Court House to
this day and the small village of Steer Town, on the road from the Drax Hall
to Chalky Hill in St. Ann, still continues to bear his name.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Wishing you the best of
luck with your continued research.
> I really wish I knew more about the early history of the
> Steer family in Jamaica prior to the 1800. Mrs. H.V. Ormsby-Marshall's
> article on the history of the Steer family in Jamaica is very
> because, while it states that the Steers family first settled in Jamaica
> the Mid-18th Century, it does not give any details nor does it name any of
> the 18th Century members of the family.
> The Sarah Steer that you mention as being born in
> Jamaica about 1770 intrigues me because there are two other Sarah Steers
> mentioned on the family tree that I have.
> One of them is Sarah Cole Steer, born in 1789, who was a younger sister of
> Col. Charles Steer. The other is Sarah Melmoth Steer, born in 1803, who
> a daughter of Col. Charles Steer. I wonder where the Sarah Steer, born
> 1770, fits in on the family tree.
> I also noted the name of Henry Rattray Hall Steer. I am
> unable to connect him to the family although the Hon. Charles William
> "Busha" Steer did have a son named Henry Steer who was also a planter. In
> 1910 this Henry Steer owned Potosi Estate, a plantation in St.
> Thomas-in-the-East parish, Jamaica.
> Your statement that the Steers originally came from
> Bradfield in Yorkshire is very thought-provoking.( I actually mentioned that one of the Steers in the line I was looking at had connections with Bradfield not that all the Steers came from Bradfield! William) The original owner of
> Bradfield Plantation in St. Ann, Jamaica was William Ewbank. His daughter
> married Col. Charles Steer of Trafalgar Plantation, which is how the Steer
> family accquired Bradfield Plantation. However we are not certain who
> William Ewbank's wife was. We know that she was named Anne and that she
> in Kingston, Jamaica in 1798. I wonder if
> she could have been a member of the Steer family. It was very common in
> Jamaica for plantocratic families to marry their cousins. Perhaps the
> and the Ewbanks in Jamaica both came from the same village in Yorkshire,
> All this is food for thought as they say. There are no
> legitimate white descendants
> of the Steer family in the male line left in Jamaica today and the name
> itself has died out. However
> there are still white descendants of the Steer family in the female line,
> including the prominent Stewart family. The best known member of this
> is Gordon "Butch" Stewart, one of the largest hotel owners in the
> and the former Chairman of Air Jamaica. So the family line does continue
Thank you so much for your email. It is of great interest.
The following is taken from some notes I made a few years ago.
In 1876 Arthur Townsend, who was born in Devon, England,
came out to Jamaica with his younger brother, Louis Townsend, and together
they bought Edinburgh Castle and Rodon Hall Estates, two large cattle and
pimento plantations in the Pedro District of St. Ann Parish. Three years
later, in 1879, Arthur Townsend married Mary Ella Stewart, daughter of the
Rev. Ernest Augustus Montgomery Stewart (1829-1905), Rector of St. Peter's
Anglican Church, Falmouth, Jamaica. Her mother, Louisa Todd (1835-1929) was
the daughter and heiress of Utten Thomas Todd (1801-18886), a wealthy
Jamaica planter who owned five plantations in St. Ann Parish: Bengal Estate,
Valley Minor Pen, The Ridge Estate, Coffee Grove Plantation and Cyprus Pen.
In 1889 Arthur Townsend sold the Edinburgh Castle Estate to his cousin,
William D. Conran of Mount Pleasant Estate, near Runaway Bay, St. Ann, and
bought Pantrepant Estate, a 2,000 acre former sugar plantation turned cattle
estate in Trelawny Parish, where he lived with his family for the next 6
years. In 1895 he sold Pantrepant Estate and he and his family moved back to
St. Ann Parish again, where he established a plantation named Devon Ville,
near Laughlands in St. Ann.
The William D. Conran mentioned above must have been the
brother of Henry Arthur Lewis Conran. He died in 1934 and his plantations,
Mount Pleasant and Edinburgh Castle in St. Ann,
were inherited by his son, Col. William D. Conran. The Conrans were
descended from Major-General Sir Henry Conran, a British General who was
Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Jamaica
from 1821 to 1822.
Ethel Penelope Conran later married her first cousin, Cyril
Stewart, who owned Woodfield Estate, a large cattle and pimento plantation
near Orange Hall, in St. Ann Parish.
His mother was the sister of Elizabeth Alice Steer and also daughter to the
Hon. Charles William Steer (1835-1896), of Bradfield Estate, who was Custos
of St. Ann.
Col. Charles Steer of Trafalgar Plantation, St. Ann, was
never in the British Army. He was
actually Colonel of the St. Ann Regiment of Foot Militia in Jamaica. Each
and every Parish in Jamaica had its own Regiment or Battalion of Colonial
Militia. In 1820 the Island had 18 Regiments of Foot Militia (Infantry), 3
Regiments of Horse Militia (Cavalry) and a Regiment of Militia Artillery.
All Free Males in Jamaica, White, Jewish, Free Coloured or Free Black,
between the ages of 16 and 60, were required to serve in the Colonial
Militia, which mustered one a month for inspection in each Parish Capital.
The Jamaica Militia was a hierarchial instituation which closely reflected
the Island's class and colour caste system. The majority of the Militia was
composed of Whites, but Jews, Free Coloureds and Free Blacks served in
segregated companies within the Regiments under the command of White
Officers. The Whites who formed the Rank and File of the Infantry were
usually plantation bookeepers or artisans, shopkeepers or tradesmen, clerks
or tavern-keepers, or other secondary whites. The ranks of Troopers in the
Cavalry regiments were reserved for White Plantation Overseers, who provided
their own horses and who apparently regarded themselves as elite troops, far
superior to the Infantry. The Officers of the Jamaica Militia were not only
all White, but they were all drawn from the Planter Class, which formed the
Island's artistocracy. Officers were almost always Plantation Owners or
Planting Attorneys (Agents), and in the cases where Officers were actually
wealthy Merchants, Lawyers or Doctors, they were probably also Plantation
Owners as well. Jamaica Planters were very keen on titles and those of
Major-General and Colonel were greatly sought after and had immense social
prestige. No doubt Col. Charles Steer, Col. Thomas Ashmeade and others
enjoyed hearing themselves addressed as such.
The Hon. Charles William Steer actually had at least three
daughters and two sons. His third daughter, Muriel Burrell Steer
(1868-1924), was married in 1900 to William Lindsey, a Canadian, who had
come to Jamaica to seek his fortune. They lived at Riverhead, a plantation
near Ewarton in St. Thomas-in-the-Vale (now part of St. Catherine Parish).
In 1905 they left Jamaica and went to live in Canada and in 1906 they
settled on a farm in Alberta. I am currently in touch with their
grandaughter, Patricia Johnston, who is now a Librarian living in Canada.
The Hon. Charles William Steer's elder son, Dr. William
Steer, M.D., married Katherine Yonge, a member of the Yonge family of
Puslinch, near Plymouth, in Devonshire, England. He then brought his wife
out with him to Jamaica, but she did not like the Island and they soon went
back to England. However, a couple of years later, Dr. Steer returned to
Jamaica with his wife a second time during which she contracted Yellow Fever
while in the Island. She narrowly survived the Yellow Fever, but was left
with a permanently weakened heart. On returning to England, Dr. Steer set up
his medical practice at Penzance in Cornwall, where his wife died of
influenza not long after. They had one child by their marriage, a daughter
named Cordelia, who later married and became Mrs. Jessop of Bedminister, in
Dorset, England. Dr. Steer then married a second time and returned to
Jamaica in 1897 with his new young bride. Three children were born to them
in Jamaica, two of whom died in infancy. His wife later returned to England
with the third child, a daughter. Dr. Steer himself died in Jamaica of
malaria in 1901. He and his two infant sons by his second wife are buried in
the churchyard of St. Mathew's Anglican Church in Claremont, Jamaica, close
to the church facing the main road.
The Hon. Charles William Steer's younger son, Henry Tawney
Steer (1860-1901), was for many years Planting Attorney (Agent) for Richmond
Estate, a large sugar plantation in St. Ann, and also for several other
plantations. He later accquired his own plantation, Potosi Estate in St.
Thomas-in-the-East Parish. It had formerly been a large sugar plantation,
but he converted it to raising bananas and coconuts. It consisted of about
1,500 acres. He also had a son, Charles Burrell Steer (b. 1892), who was
still alive in the 1920s, but whatever became of him I do not know. I
believe he was the last of the Burrell family in the male line. Tawney must
have been a family name
since the Steer family's butler was affectionately known as "old Tawny".
The Hon. Charles William Steer's other daughter married,
as I previously mentioned, A.A. Stewart, who became the Overseer of
Bradfield Estate. She later inherited Bradfield on the death of her father
and A.A. Stewart became the owner of the plantation. One of their daughters
eventually married Jace Cox, son of the Custos of St. Ann, who owned Ramble
Estate, a 2,000 acre tea plantation in St. Ann. Jace Cox's grandson was
later adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Stewart and brought up at Woodfield
Great House in St. Ann. He later became the father of Gordon "Butch"
One last note, the Steer family of St. Ann and the Hall
family of Kingston were somehow related, since both families bore the
unusual middle name Melmoth or Melmouth in the late 18th and Early 19th
Centuries. I believe that Charles Steer of Trafalgar, St. Ann, the father of
Col. Charles Steer, was probably married to the sister of William Melmoth
Hall (1751-1794), who was a wealthy Merchant and Sugar Refiner in Kingston.
Two of William Melmoth Hall's daughters later married wealthy planters in
St. Ann Parish, so there must already have been some sort of connection
with St. Ann and I believe it was through the Steer family.
One of the aims of gathering national records of the Steer name and variant
spellings, such as in the censuses and BMD records, is to facilitate an
understanding of the distributions of the surname and the use of the surname
variants. This will be best presented as geographical maps which will
appear on our web site, it should be just a few weeks before the first of
Looking through the English GRO births, covering England and Wales, for the
twelve and a half years from mid 1837 to the end of 1849 there was something
of significance that had previously been mentioned on the list. There are
notes of caution in using the GRO birth entries for that period as
registration was not then compulsory and that it was down to the registrars
to record the names as they interpreted (heard) the names they were given.
So there are issues about this sample, however, it is worth consideration.
There were 1277 birth registrations in the given period distributed across
the surname variants as follows:
To give an idea of the use of these surname variants, most have been used in
the records of my Lincolnshire family in the last three hundred years. It
is noticeable that the variants beginning STEAR or STEERE are in decline
compared to records of centuries ago (maybe not surprising given phonetic
spelling and pronunciation before spellings started to be standardised).
What is of significance is that variants ending with 'S' are almost
completely absent from the Devon and Cornwall districts, just three STEERS
out of the otherwise 429 STEAR, STEER and STEERE entries, a proportion much
against the rest of the national trend.
John Steer, Dorking, England
Has anyone transcribed any of the Nutfield, Surrey parish registers? I'm
sure that the IGI has deficiencies with this parish and microfiche copies
are claimed by the SoG to be held in their library, hopefully PR entries
will help identify some of the 1851 census entries for that area of Surrey.
I can get to the SoG but don't want to repeat work that may have been done
John Steer, Dorking, England
If this has been posted before then please ignore the duplication.
This IGI entry is most likely Sarah Ann Steer -
Marriage 23 JUL 1842 Nutfield, Surrey
PETER SNELLING & SARAH ANN HEER
See 1851 census HO 107/1599 Folio 350a on our web site if interested.
John Steer, Dorking, England
Forgot to include this information that Mike published to the list in 2001.
From J.S. COCKBURN (1976). Western circuit assize orders 1629-1648. Camden Society.
842 (1639). Order discharging William MILFORD, gent., William OXENHAM, gent., Henry POWLESLAND, Henry BOURNE, Mark SLOWMAN, Richard HOLE, John LANGWORTHY, Richard WEEKES and John STEERE, all of South Tawton, from petty jury service at this assizes and for the future on the ground that they are tenants in ancient demesne.
Looking through the STEER marriage files for Devon has made me realise that there are a couple of groups that I have never seen mentioned on the list. The largest is probably those based on South Tawton which is five miles east of Okehampton and on the fringes of Dartmoor. Nearby parishes add to the total.
But the really interesting thing is that of the fifty or so marriages I have on file, all bar seven took place prior to 1750. So that there must have been quite a thriving STEER tribe in the area.
Where did they go? Did they just die out or emigrate to the colonies or did they drift to Crediton (12 miles east north east), Exeter (twenty miles to the east) or even Bovey Tracey (fifteen miles to the south east)?
I've listed all I have below. Does anyone recognise any of these marriages? Or provide a solution to this apparent disappearing act?
25.5./1563/Thomas/STURE/-/Cristen_/HAMLINGE/-/South Tawton, Devon
19.11./1565/William/MACKLEY/-/Elizabeth/STURE/-/South Tawton, Devon
4.8./1578/Thomas/HOLE/-/Margaret/STURE/-/South Tawton, Devon
6.11./1591/Robert/STEERE/-/Mary/UNDERHILL/-/Sampford Courtenay, Devon
30.9./1611/Richard/STEERE/-/Elizabeth/TRENDLEBEARE/-/South Tawton, Devon
27.4./1611/William/STEERE/-/Hellinor/APTER/-/South Tawton, Devon
19.4./1613/Augustine/HATHERLY/-/Sibilla/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
12.6./1622/Robert/STEERE/-/Margaret/RISDON/-/South Tawton, Devon
11.8./1623/Arthur/ARSCOT/-/Margaret/STURE/-/South Tawton, Devon
5.4./1624/William/KELLAND/-/Wilmot/STUER/-/South Tawton, Devon
5.9./1626/John/CROSMAN/-/Margery/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
24.8./1629/John/STEERE/-/Katharen/GIDLEY/-/South Tawton, Devon
20.8./1633/George/STEERE/-/Elyzabeth/BUCKENGAM/-/South Tawton, Devon
23.4./1639/Roger/STEERE/-/Arminell/GLANDFEILD/-/South Tawton, Devon
8.6./1646/William/NORCOTT/-/Armonell/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
4.10./1664/John/ADAMS/-/Mary/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
13.7./1666/Richard/STEERE/-/Joane/MOXHAY/-/South Tawton, Devon
24.3./1679 /Edward/BENNET/-/Joane/STEERE/-/Throwleigh, Devon
25.10./1692 /John/POSLAND/-/Elnor/STEERE/-/Throwleigh, Devon
13.1./1696/John/STEER/-/Mary/HURCHEL/-/South Tawton, Devon
15.6./1698/Symon/PHILLIP/-/Katherine/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
12.7./1702/John/MARKES/-/Charity/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
29.11./1704/Robert/BURGOYNE/-/Jone/STEERE/Mrs/South Tawton, Devon
16.3./1707/John/BROCK/-/Priscilla/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
30.1./1725/Josias/MILLFORD/-/Mary/STEERE/-/South Tawton, Devon
24.4./1725/Jerome/STEERE/-/Joane/RICH/-/South Tawton, Devon
7.4./1760/Richard/HOLMES/-/Mary /STEER/-/Drewsteignton, Devon
2.11./1805/George/BROCK/-/Mary /STEER/-/Drewsteignton, Devon
Has anyone come across any of these marriages?
1. From a LDS ancestral file. On 11.9.1921 - Charlie Herbert OSBORNE to Clara STEER in Encombe, Devon. Encombe is not a parish and is not even on the Devon gazetteer.
2. Another LDS ancestral file offering - 7.11.1842 - Thomas STEER to Grace MITCHELL in Forrington, Devon. There is no such parish although it could be Farringdon where the parish church is St Petrock and St Barnabas.
The 1901 census has been added to the database. It has mainly been an
exercise of managing large amounts of data - a situation which would occur
at sometime anyway - so it has been worthwhile. Having assembled the data I
found that the indexes were too large for anyone using a dial-up connection
so they had to be further 'chopped-up'. You will notice that indexes can
now extend over a number of pages.
Remember that there are issues with the 1901 census, particularly the
transcriptions and search facilities provided by the official 1901 web site.
Please see the 1901 entry on the Projects Page of our Steer web site.
I was hoping that people could be indexed by county, including a strays
index for each county, but this will have to wait a few weeks.
There is also an additional 1851 Cornwall census entry and a correction to
Web site address is unchanged
John Steer, Dorking, England