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Sometime back there was a call for reporting on Steers wherever they may be. Unfortunately I have been in and out of hospital since then and this is the first available opportunity to post something on the North Devon Steers.
There were Steers in the Abbotsham area in the 1700s but I have been unable to tie them in to any tree. Likewise there was an Abraham on his lonely little twig for whom there is a will that doesn't help at all with his forebears.
My line of North Devon Steers starts with Richard Sture b 1746 in Highweek near Newton Abbot. With a little optimism I can go further back to 1700 but I see Richard as the founding father. He married Susannah White in 1775. At that time there were copper miners from Cornwall in and around Highweek and it is likely that the White who witnessed this wedding was Susannah's brother and he was from from Cornwall. Despite great assistance from Jack S I have not been able to trace Susannah back to Cornwall.
Richard (d 1833) and Susannah (d1839) are buried in Abbotsham churchyard with headstone.
The first child of Richard and Susannah was born in Highweek in 1777. Then the family moved to North Devon around 1780. Why I have not been able to establish. The second child was born in Huntshaw near Bideford in 1784 and from then on the family were in Alverdiscott and later the dwelling, Orchard, in Abbotsham.
Believe it or not when I took my family to N Devon for the first time around 2000, the only large enough accommodation available near Appledore where I was born was Orchard! What a homecoming for R & S lived there from 1812 to 1839 and my great uncle continued on for a further 20 years. Then a relative of my brother in law was there for 20 years followed by one of my far distant relatives to 1900! When we were there, it was big enough to host a Steer Stampede of 50 or so relatives on our annual visit to N Devon! It was in effect an annual gathering of the Steer farmers and they took themselves off to another room for their private chat. I had to read the Farmers Weekly before the visit to be able to converse sensibly! When I started the Steer family tree in 2000 I had one living contact in N.Devon. By 2002 this had grown to over 100 (and so had the Christmas card bill!)
There are two interesting features coming out of 1746 to 1800 period. Firstly Richard signed the marriage certificate with an X but later around 1790 put a proper signature to the Parish accounts. I have since found that the women who married Steer men have always had a profound influence on them, including my wife! Secondly the surname moved from Sture to Stere to Steere to Steer by 1800 as shown on local tax records. So Jan Stewer (Olde Uncle Tom Cobleigh etc) was almost certainly John Steer in today's speak.
The offspring of Richard and Susannah spread all across North Devon and before and shortly after the Second World War it was likely you could walk continuously across Steer male or married Steer daughter land from Hartland to Barnstaple.
I have the North Devon Steer family tree on Family Tree Maker if anyone is interested.
born Appledore 1936 but resident in Derby for the last 56 years.
Dean STEER (also on this List) living in Canada and a descendent of George
STEER 1826 Nutfield did a Y-DNA test with FTDNA and the results show a close
connection to my own Steer(e) family.
At 67 markers Dean has a Genetic distance of 4 with me shared with John
Edward Steere Jnr (US) & William A Steere (US). Both the US Steere's are
known proven descendents of John Steere c1634-1724 who was born in England
and died Rhode Island Colony.
At 111 markers Dean & and John Edward Steere Jnr (William hasn't tested at
111) have a Genetic distance of 7 to me.
The US Steere Family Association believe John Steere is from the Ockley
Steere's but I have my doubts.
I understand that it is likely I share with John Steere c1634 his father or
grandfather and so with Dean.
There is also Roger STEER on this list who connects with me on Y-DNA but I
think he has only tested up to 37 markers. Roger's line is very likely to be
from Bletchingley so that area of Surrey appears to be favourite for our
Dean is also on Gedmatch RU2865379 as I am and he noticed that the Autosomal
DNA is only a 3.4cM match between us, so using the Y-DNA gap as well our
Steer link does look like it is in the 16th Century though I'm no expert.
Dean has his George STEER 1826 from Nutfield, but I think he is the son of
George STEER 1790-1832 & Amelia KILLICK 1798-1832 baptised Horne 1 Oct 1826
of George & Milley STEER Burstow labourer. Father George STEER 1790 was
baptised aged 16 at Nutfield on 16 Nov 1806 son of George STEER c1757-1837 &
Martha SARGENT 1758-1815. I do not have a baptism for George c1757.
I do not believe he is the George baptised 18 Sep 1760 Nutfield son of
George STEER 1725-1760 & Mary RUSSEL 1728-1760 as a George STEER infant was
buried Nutfield 19 Sep 1760 and his mother Mary on 29 Sep 1760.
Mary STEER nee' Russel in her will made 19 Sep 1760 left all her goods &
chattels to her two daughters Ann & Jane, tuition & guardianship to her
brother John RUSSEL Nutfield and cousin Edward RUSSELL the younger of Ham in
Bletchingley, no mention of other children but are all accounted for by
burials. Ann STEER 1754-1815 married Robert RUSSEL of Nutfield 1756-1801 14
Mar 1774 Nutfield. Jane STEER 1757- married Nathaniel GLOVER Oxted 1750- on
12 Feb 1777 All Hallows, London.
Nathaniel GLOVER was the son of Nathaniel GLOVER born Woldingham 1708-1786
who married Elizabeth STEER born Nutfield 1718-1808 on 11 Oct 1741 at St
Olave Bermondsey, and who is the sister of George STEER who married Mary
I cannot find a suitable candidate for George STEER c1757 other than a
George son of Thomas & Mary bap 1 July 1758 at Burstow. The parents are a
Thomas STEER aged 23 on marriage, bachelor, husbandman, who married 2 Feb
1754 to Mary TITHENEAR at Gatton, Surrey. I have not researched that line
As I am stuck with a brick wall at William STEER c1820 anything on Deans
line will help us both.
Usually around US holiday times FTDNA has a sale so if you are a Steer(e)
etc male please consider doing a Y-DNA test at 111 markers, or if rich the
Big 700 Y-DNA test.
Orpington, Kent. UK
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