This famous surname recorded as Stearman, Steerman, Sterman and Sturman, is of English medieval origins. It is usually an occupational surname for a cattleman or cattle dealer, specifically one who raised or dealt in the sale of beef cattle. The derivation is from the ancient pre 7th century word 'steor', which is self explanatory. The name (without the suffix "man") could also be a nickname for someone thought to have the characteristics of a "steer", and this is certainly the case with Robert le Steer of the county of Sussex, in 1296. However it seems unlikely that the same description can be applied to a person with the suffix, as this term in the medieval period described a manager or foreman. Early examples of the name recordings taken from authentic rolls and charters of the period include Simon Sterman, a farmer, in the Hundred Rolls of Sussex in 1272, Brydgett Styrman, christened at St Giles church, Cripplegate, London, on July 10th 1576, and Beatrice Stearman, christened at St Botolphs without Aldgate, London, on January 21st 1581. The name was also very early into the new English colonies of the Americas. Anthony Steerman being recorded as being a resident of Barbados in the West Indies "before 1678". The surname was particularly popular in the USA during the Second World War. The majority of US and Canadian pilots trained on Stearman aircraft. The first recorded spelling of the name is probably that of William Stereman, which was dated 1202, in the Court Rolls of the county of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216.
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