This curious surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a locational name from Stirzacre in the parish of Garstang, North Lancashire, so called from the genitive case of the Old Norse personal name "Styrr", with the Olde English pre 7th Century "aecer", ploughed field, cultivated land, cognate with the Old Norse "akr"; hence, "Styrr's akr". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Johannes de Steresaker (Yorkshire, 1379), and William Steresaker, "The Corpus Christi Guild", York, dated 1477. In the modern idiom the name has four spelling variations: Stirzaker, Starzaker, Sterzaker and Sturzaker. On September 5th 1567, Anthony Stirzaker and Elisabeth Philipson were married at Garstang, Lancashire, and on November 6th 1568, Alice Stirzaker married James Orton at Garstang. In 1664, Robert Sturzaker of Garstang was recorded in the "Exchequer Depositions", Lancashire, and in 1668, Evan Pilkinton, of Sturzaker, in Garstang, was noted in the Lancashire Wills Records held at Richmond. The surname appears in London Church Registers of the 17th and 18th Centuries: entries include the christening of Ellen, daughter of Joseph and Isabella Stirzaker, at St. Andrew Holborn, on January 14th 1703. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Steresacre, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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