Stearns History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Stearns is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a stern person. The surname Stearns is derived from the Old English word styrne, which means severe, strict, uncompromising, and austere.
Early Origins of the Stearns family
The surname Stearns was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Grendon from early times.
Early History of the Stearns family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stearns research. Another 57 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1592, 1607, 1596, 1683, 1660, 1664, 1683, 1642, 1642, 1713, 1768, 1759, 1624, 1669, 1624, 1660, 1745, 1624, 1669, 1700 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Stearns History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Stearns Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Stearns were recorded, including Sterne, Stern, Stearn, Stearns and others.
Early Notables of the Stearns family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Sterne, Bishop of Colchester in 1592 and held the post until his death in 1607; and Richard Sterne (c. 1596-1683), English Church of England priest, Bishop of Carlisle in 1660, Archbishop of York from 1664 to 1683. He was the alleged author of the 'Whole Duty of Man.'  "On the outbreak of the civil war, Sterne zealously adopted the royalist cause, and in August 1642 he arranged for the despatch of large quantities of college plate to the king. Cromwell, however, who, as one of the burgesses of Cambridge, was engaged...
Another 146 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stearns Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Stearns is the 2,119th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. 
Migration of the Stearns family to Ireland
Some of the Stearns family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 173 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Stearns migration to the United States +
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Stearns family emigrate to North America:
Stearns Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Mrs. Mary Barker Stearns who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 as part of the Winthrop fleet. 
- Mr. Isaac Stearns who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 as part of the Winthrop fleet, found in Watertown. 
- Mr. John Stearns who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 as part of the Winthrop fleet, found in Watertown. 
- Miss Elizabeth Stearns who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 as part of the Winthrop fleet, found in Watertown. 
- Miss Hannah Stearns who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630 as part of the Winthrop fleet, found in Watertown. 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stearns Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- G H Stearns, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 
- M S Stearns, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 
- Mr. Stearns, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
Stearns migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Stearns Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- James Stearns, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
Stearns migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Stearns Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Frank Stearns, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1883
Contemporary Notables of the name Stearns (post 1700) +
- John Hardin Stearns (1951-2022), nicknamed "Bad Dude", an American Major League Baseball catcher and coach from Denver, Colorado who played for the New York Mets from 1975 to 1984
- Monteagle "Monty" Stearns (1924-2016), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Ivory Coast (1976-1979), United States Ambassador to Greece (1981-1985)
- Robert Stearns, American co-founder of Bear Stearns, a global investment bank and securities trading and brokerage in 1923
- Michael Stearns (b. 1948), American musician and composer of ambient music
- Richard Edwin Stearns (b. 1936), American computer scientist, co-recipient of the 1993 ACM Turing Award
- Frank Ballou Stearns (1879-1955), American founder of F. B. Stearns and Company, a manufacturer of luxury cars in Cleveland
- Edward Carl Stearns (1856-1929), American founder of E. C. Stearns & Company, Stearns Automobile Company, Stearns Steam Carriage Company, Stearns Typewriter Company and E. C. Stearns Bicycle Agency
- Foster Waterman Stearns (1881-1956), American politician, U.S. Representative from New Hampshire
- George Luther Stearns (1809-1867), American industrialist and merchant
- Cliff Stearns (b. 1941), American politician
- ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved January 6th 2023, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)