Recorded in several forms as shown below, this surname is of pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon origins. It is or rather was, either occupational or a nickname. If the former it is a metonymic job-descriptive name for someone who was employed as a cattleman, one responsible for tending bullocks and young oxen. The derivation is from the Old English word 'steor', meaning a steer or bullock. The modern surname, found as Steer, Steere, Stear, Stearman, Sterman and the patronymic forms Steers and Stears, meaning 'son of Steer', may also be derived from a medieval nickname surname for someone thought to be truculent or aggressive like a young bullock. One Elizabeth Steyres was christened on July 26th 1578 at St. Dunstan's in the East, London, and Jeremiah Steers married Elizabeth Ammery at St. James's church, Duke's Place, Westminster, on March 30th 1684. The coat of arms most associated with the name has the blazon of a blue shield, overall a bend chequy silver and red, the Crest being two oar's in saltire proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Ster. This was dated 1209, The Worcestershire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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