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The Sturtivant/Sturtevant family in the United Kingdom appears, until comparatively recent times, not to have been very widespread geographically. There were two main families, probably unrelated, since the name derives from the 13th Century English Crusades to the Middle East, where 'Start-Avaunt' was a nickname for a herald or messenger (or flag bearer?).

One was a Lancashire branch, which used various spellings eventually ending up as Startifant, but which died out in the early nineteenth century. This appears to have originated with Robert Stertavant, son of Bimme le Whyte of Chipping, who was involved in a court case at Lancaster Assizes in 1305. It is sumised that the nickname came from the eighth Crusade in 1270-72.

The other is the Nottinghamshire branch which lived in Yorkshire before moving south, and which is the origin of most if not all surviving members of the family in the British Isles and overseas, irrespective of current spellings. The earliest known name for this branch is of a Stirtavaunt (first name not given) who was a Freeman of the City of York in 1272.

Some of the Nottinghamshire branch moved into neighbouring counties, namely Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, and others have, over the years, moved to London and the south of England. More recently, in the late 19th Century, a number of family members moved to Scotland. There have been a number of emigrants to America, the Dominions and Europe, though in many cases it has not been possible to relate these to their English origins due to lack of surviving records, especially UK passenger lists.

The spelling of the surname has varied considerably in the past, especially when recorded for people who were illiterate, and there are many examples where more than one spelling has been used within the same document. click here for the full size picture of Francis Sturtivants gravestone In the UK, the spelling Sturtivant is generally used nowadays by the descendants of Francis Sturtevant/Sturtivant, who died in 1729 at Dunham in north Nottinghamshire and whose gravestone still survives there. The remainder are descended from his brother John who died at Norwell in 1731. Their mutual grandfather was William Sturtivant of Norwell Woodhouse who died in 1629/30 his exact relationship to the remainder of the Norwell family has not yet been established. All the other Norwell branches are now defunct. These include the Calverton/Arnold branch which eventually used the spelling Stirtevant, and the Lincolnshire branch which often used the spellings Sturdivant and Sturdevant.

The general lack of geographical drift of the various branches of the family, and the length and comparative rarity of the name in England, has made genealogical research much easier than might otherwise have been the case. It has been largely possible to limit efforts to the counties mentioned above, though there have been occasional "strays" in other counties.

This Website, which represents over half a century of research, covers all countries in which family members are known to have lived, with the exception of North America, where a number of family members are undertaking research into their own branches, many having their own Websites.

The first listing to appear on this site is that of English parish registers up to the end of the nineteenth century, since these cover the basic roots of the family. Counties where family members are known or believed to have lived during this period are Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London (including Middlesex), Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire.

Other countries where family members are known or believed to have lived are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, USA and the West Indies. No evidence has been found of family members ever having lived in Wales up to the 19th Century.

The variations of the family name are detailed on a seperate page: Click here for the variations.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can provide a connection with any of the entries listed, or who can throw any light on the unconfirmed entries and loose ends. Especially welcome would be details of emigrants, of which there must have been quite a number that I have been unable to trace in UK records. I would also be happy to include links to other Sturtivant / Sturtevant / Sturdivant / Sturdevant or similar Websites.

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Last Update 8th August 2010