The surname of STIERS was derived from the Old German word Stiehr - an occupational name meaning a herdsman, someone who was responsible for tending the bullocks. The name was brought into England at some time where it has been anglicized to Steer. The small villages of Europe of royal and noble households, even religious houses and monastries, gave rise to many family names which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. Early records of the name mention STERE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Geoffrey Ster, 1209 Worcestershire. Robert le Ster, was documented in 1296 in the County of Sussex. Willelmus Stere of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Nicholas Steer, rector of Burnham Norton, County Norfolk in 1580. Baptised. Randall Steers, St. Mary, Aldermary, London in the year of 1697. John Steer was buried at St. Aldermary, London in the year 1748. A notable member of the name was Philip Wilson Steer (1860-1942) the English painter, born in Birkenhead. He studied in Paris, and began an exponent of Impressionism to which he added a traditionally English touch. He was a founder of the New English Club and taught at Slade. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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