Show ContentsSterry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Sterry surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a person whose personality or appearance called to mind a star. Sterry is a nickname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. The surname Sterry comes from the Old English words sterre, or starre, which mean star, and would have been given to someone with a bright personality. This word was also used to refer to a white patch of hair on the forehead of a horse, an so, it may have been transferred to refer to someone with a streak of white hair.

Early Origins of the Sterry family

The surname Sterry was first found in Wiltshire where they held a family seat from ancient times in the village of Longbridge Deverill at Glastonbury. It is said that King Alfred, King of the west Saxons, camped the night in the Deverill valley before defeating the Danes at the Battle of Ethandune in 878.

Early History of the Sterry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sterry research. Another 53 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1672, 1629, 1633 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Sterry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sterry Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Sterry has been recorded under many different variations, including Starr, Star, Starre, Ster, Sterr and others.

Early Notables of the Sterry family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sterry Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sterry family to Ireland

Some of the Sterry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Sterry migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sterry or a variant listed above:

Sterry Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elias Sterry, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 [1]
  • William Sterry, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1685 [1]
Sterry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John George Sterry, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [1]

Canada Sterry migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sterry Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Cyprian Sterry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Nathan Sterry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Robert Sterry, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Thomas Sterry, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760

Australia Sterry migration to Australia +

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

Sterry Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jane Sterry who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [2]

West Indies Sterry migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [3]
Sterry Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Geo Sterry, aged 24, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [1]
  • Mr. George Sterry, (b. 1611), aged 24, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sterry (post 1700) +

  • Abner N. Sterry, American politician, First Selectman of New London, Connecticut, 1888 [5]
  • Sterry Robinson Waterman (1901-1984), American lawyer and federal judge from Vermont, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1955-1970)
  • Sterry Kinne, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Voluntown, 1822, 1824, 1826, 1829 [6]
  • Sterry F. Pierce, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Preston, 1920 [7]

The Sterry Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vive en espoir
Motto Translation: Live in hope

  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from
  4. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 11) . Retrieved from on Facebook