THE ENGLISH STURTIVANT/STURTEVANT FAMILY
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.
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
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.
E-Mail Queries and any further information to -
Website Comments, etc to -
Last Update 8th August 2010