GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2007-08 > 1186613079
Subject: [GENMASSACHUSETTS] Some Later Stearns Families of Massachusetts -Part 1.
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 18:44:39 EDT
Source: Genealogical & Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State
of Massachusetts by William Richard Cutter & William Frederick Adams.
Five hundred years ago, more or less, when the population of England had
sufficiently dense to make surnames necessary, some Englishman assumed the
of Sterne. He may have taken it from the sign of the Sterne, or starling,
is the symbol of industry), which he displayed in front of his place of
or it may have been taken from some event in which a starling was concerned;
of this there is no means or record knowing.
In England the name was, as it seems still is, spelled Sterne, two notable
stances of which are Richard Sterne, Lord Archbishop of York, and Lawrence
the distinquished novelist of "Tristam Shandy" and other works; but in
it is spelled Stearns, Sternes, Sterns or Starns, and Starnes, the last two
being distinctly southern. The changes probably commenced in the
and extended to the writing of the name, which in Winthrop's Journal and in
early town and county records of Massachusetts appears as Sterne.
In every instance where the lineage of this family has been traced back, it
been to one of the following: Isaac, Charles or Nathaniel. What relationship
existed between the three is not known. Isaac in his Will calls
Charles "My kinsman." It is noticeable, however, that all three named their
Isaac, Samuel and John, while the sons of Isaac named their sons Nathaniel.
belief is entertained by many of the Stearns descendants that three Sterne
Isaac, Daniel and Shubael, came to America together, that Daniel died
unmarried, or without issue; that Shubael and wife left two sons, Charles and
Nathaniel, to the care of their uncle, Isaac. Research in England has thus
failed to find parents, brothers or sisters of Isaac Stearns, the emigrant
In the genealogy of the Stearns family, published in 1901, over eleven
persons are mentioned. Among these were two hundred and thirty-two graduates
colleges, universities, etc; eighty-three clergymen, eighty physicians,
lawyers, twelve principals of academies and high schools; twelve professors
colleges; one chancellor of a state university; one dean of a divinity
three presidents of colleges; one superintendent of instruction (Argentine
public); eleven authors; five editors; one bishop of Pennsylvania; one
manager of railroads; one president of railroads; one president of a
company; twenty farmers; two governors; three lieutenant governors; two
of State; eleven state senators; thirty-six colonial or state repre-
sentatives; two speakers of the house; two supreme court judges; five
generals; twenty-two colonels; eleven majors; fifty-six captains; and one
and eighty-two private soldiers.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth
To be continued Part 2
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