The Stearns surname

While researching our ancestors I was having a difficult time finding any information on the World Wide Web. So I started looking through my papers and found out that the Stearns name was spelled differently, so why wouldn’t that be the case on the web.

The Stearns name has been written as Stearns, Sternes, Sterns, Starns; all off-shoots of the name Sterne. The names were spelt as they were spoken, thus each regional accent would affect the spelling. The early spelling of the name in town records and even in Winthrop’s journal was written as Sterne.

The will of our ancestor Isaac Stearns was written as Sterns. I will use our current spelling, “Stearns” with notations of other spellings as found in documents. This will make it less confusing to follow the story.

Sterns is mostly found in England, Starns and Sterns is found in the southern part of the United States and Stearns is mainly a New England version of the name.

The Stearns name is appropriate for our ancestors, as it means to be stern, strict, severe or uncompromising. The current generations are learning to be a little less so. That backbone is what helped form this nation. Look for my next post on Isaac Stearns, the first generation to arrive in America.


The Telling

Remember when you were a child you loved to listen to your mother tell you a story of when she was young? Well, that is how I am going to write this blog, as if I’m reading a story. The story is “The Telling” as the ancestors would say. This is how they passed on the history of the family instead of writing it down.

I will include some history, little antidotes, and family life at the time and entice you to follow my legacy.  I plan on starting with the Stearns side of the family. If you are a genealogist checking out this site, please remember I am a Hobbyist in this field.  My goal is to post the history for one family line of the Stearns, Chase, Fletcher and Nelson surnames. I will attempt to keep facts as accurate as possible and make notes when there is conflicting information and why I made the choice I did. I hope I can connect up with other lines that can fill in some blanks or that I provide information that fills in some of their blanks.

Enjoy the Telling,