Steele History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Steele begins with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. This Norman name was soon thereafter given to a person who was strong or reliable. The surname Steele is a metaphor likening the constitution of its bearer to the hard metal of the same name.

Early Origins of the Steele family

The surname Steele was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very early times where they were Lords of the manor of Giddy Hall near Sandbach, and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

They were conjecturally descended from Bigot de Loges, a Norman noble who attended King William at the Battle of Hastings. However, William the Conqueror suppressing an uprising by his northern nobles in 1070, laid waste all of Sandbach, a large district in Cheshire, and the family moved north to Scotland.

Early History of the Steele family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Steele research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1259, 1524, 1637, 1610, 1680, 1643, 1616, 1662, 1697, 1629, 1692, 1680, 1672, 1729 and are included under the topic Early Steele History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Steele Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Steele family name include Steele, Steill, Steel, Steal and others.

Early Notables of the Steele family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Steele (1610-1680), English lawyer and politician from Sandbach, Cheshire, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, grandfather of Sir Richard Steele of Dublin; Thomas Steele (d. 1643), who was shot for surrendering Beeston Castle in the Civil War; and Laurence Steele (bap...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Steele Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Steele family to Ireland

Some of the Steele family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Steele migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Steele family to immigrate North America:

Steele Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James, Mary, Rachel, and Joan Steele, who settled in Nantasket Massachusetts in 1631
  • George Steele, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1631-1632 [1]
  • Henry Steele, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1632 [1]
  • Jeffery Steele, who arrived in Virginia in 1633 [1]
  • Thomas Steele, who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Steele Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Geo Steele, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [1]
  • Mary Steele, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [1]
  • Andrew Steele, who arrived in Maine in 1776 [1]
  • Jos Steele, who landed in Virginia in 1788 [1]
  • Benjamin Steele, who arrived in Mississippi in 1799 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Steele Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Philip Millington Steele, who landed in America in 1806 [1]
  • Archibald Steele, aged 37, who arrived in Maine in 1812 [1]
  • Arthur Steele, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • John Steele, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1816 [1]
  • S Steele, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Steele migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Steele Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Steele, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • William Steele, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Steele, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Steele, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • John Steele, who settled in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1762 [2]
Steele Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Steele who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Araminta" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 8th June 1847 [3]
  • Mr. John Steele, aged 50 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Araminta" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 31st May 1847 [3]
  • Mrs. Margaret Cook Steele, aged 42 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Araminta" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on 1st June 1847 [3]

Australia Steele migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Steele Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Andrew William Steele, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [4]
  • Theresa Nell Steele, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Nicol" in 1840 [4]
  • Samuel Steele, aged 23, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [5]
  • James Steele, aged 36, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" [6]
  • Jamieson Steele, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Steele 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:

Steele Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Steele, Scottish settler from Aberdeen travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 27th April 1860 [7]
  • Mr. Samuel Steele, (b. 1839), aged 22, Irish ploughman, from Londonderry travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [7]
  • Mr. George S. Steele, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th February 1863 [8]
  • George S. Steele, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • David Steele, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Steele (post 1700) +

  • William Mitchell "Bill" Steele (1885-1949), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1910 through 1914
  • William O. Steele (1917-1979), American author, best known for his book The Perilous Road, which won the Newbery Medal in 1959
  • William Randolph Steele (1842-1901), American politician, Delegate from the Territory of Wyoming (1873-1877)
  • Fletcher Steele (1859-1971), American landscape architect
  • Allen Mulherin Steele Jr. (b. 1958), award-winning American science fiction author
  • Michael Stephen Steele (b. 1958), first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee, Lt. Governor of the State of Maryland (2003-2007)
  • Christopher Steele (b. 1756), English portrait-painter, born at Egremont, Cumberland, about 1730
  • Anne Steele (1717-1778), English hymn-writer from Broughton, Hampshire, daughter of William Steele (1689–1769), timber merchant and lay baptist preacher
  • John Frederick Steele (b. 1946), former English first class cricketer for Leicestershire
  • Right Hon. Thomas Steele (b. 1823), English politician, MP for Chichester
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Steele (1880-1914), née Flood Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
  • Miss Lily Ada Steele (1874-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
  • Master James Steele (1914-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
  • Miss Nora Mary Steele (1908-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Joseph W Steele (b. 1923), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Bootle, Cumberland, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [11]
  • Mr. Alexander Steele (b. 1921), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from kirkdale, Liverpool, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Simeon Steele, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Douglas Steele, British Leading Signalman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [13]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald Frederick Steele (1920-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
  • Cecil Arthur Steele (1919-1939), British Marine with the Royal Marine aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. George Steele, English 3rd Class passenger from England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [15]


Suggested Readings for the name Steele +

  • 307 The Steele Family in America by Steele Barnett, The Moody-Steele and Allied Families by Ruby Moody Gamble, Steele and Related Family Ancestry by Lewis L. Neubacher.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 56)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM NICOL. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840WilliamNichol.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Duke%20of%20Wellington.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 20 January 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SHACKAMAXON 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/shackamaxon1853.shtml.
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  10. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  11. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  12. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  13. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  14. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  15. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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