Recorded in many forms including Start, Starte, Steart, Stert, Sturt, Sturte and Sterte, this is an early English surname. It is residential and may be from the places called Start or Stert who derive from the Old English pre 7th century word "steurt." This described a promontary or spur as for example Start Point in Devonshire, or the village of Stert in Somerset. This latter place is recorded as "Esturt" in the famous Domesday Book in the year 1086. Alternatively it may have simply described a person who lived by or on a promontory. The surname is first recorded towards the end of the 12th Century (see below), and early examples include those of Walter de la Sterte. He was a witness at the Assize Court for Somerset in the year 1225, whilst in 1332 John ate Sturte is recorded in the Subsidy Tax Rolls for the county of Surrey. On July 4th 1540, William Steart married Katherine Browne at the church of St. Marylebone in the city of London, whilst George Starte was christened on September 10th 1605 at St. James Clerkenwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Lesturte. This was dated 1168, in the Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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