Hi Rob,

Thank you for accepting my request i am from the UK and part of family trees you may have already seen, I am soon to travel to a village of stoke prior carrying relevance to the Starie side and i wonder if you have any information relating to a special church there or a "Hem" or even a "Hemn" farm?

look forward to hearing back from yourself

Theo Starie

hello i was wondering you could help me i am trying to find the rest of mothers side family which are the sterrys but a while back we lost contact to loads of them, i know a couple went to Australia, Canada and america, i was wondering you could help me find them again.

It is not often that I get the opportunity to announce a major merge of family trees. It is therefore with considerable excitement that I am able to tell you that after many years of documentary research together with the latest DNA evidence the principal researchers on the Southwold, Suffolk, UK Sterry line have decided there is sufficient evidence to merge both branches of the Southwold line into the much older Lowestoft line.

However, we won't be removing the Southwold line from the Sterry website. It's been around so long as a separate tree that people who belong to it have got a bit attached to it and identify with it. But we won't be updating it anymore. So if you have a particular interest in the Southwold line, look for it in the future in the Lowestoft tree.

As a matter of interest, when the Southwold tree was first constructed more than 15 years ago, we thought the 'progenitors' of the two branches of the Southwold line: James Sterry who married Elizabeth Cobourne in 1796 and John Sterry who married Mary Strange in 1760 - both at Southwold - might have been brothers or were at least closely related. In fact they are 3rd cousins once removed and their common ancestor is way back at the very beginning of the Lowestoft tree – Daniel Sterry who died at Mutford in 1608! Sometimes you get it very wrong!

The Sterry DNA Project has some fascinating twists and turns.

David Sterry is a member of the Southwold, Suffolk, UK line and should have the same matching DNA as Paul G and John Sterry. However, David's DNA is in a completely different haplogroup, indicating that he is not genetically related within thousands of years.

This is almost certainly due to a break in the DNA connection that is evident in the documentary evidence. David's grandfather, Henry Archibald Smith Sterry [1880-1941], was born, in Middlesbrough, before the marriage of his father Henry William Sterry [1853-1926] and Hilda Mary Smith.

Amazingly, however, David has recently learned that FTDNA.com have matched his DNA with that of two Americans; James and Everett CALVERT, the match being of a very meaningful 36/37 markers. Their common ancestor was a John Calvert bn 1648 at Lurgan, Co Armagh, Ireland.  Quaker annals tell us that John Calvert, who emigrated with his family to America in 1683, was a descendant of a family of Calverts that originated from Moorsholm in the parish of Skelton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire. Furthermore, several Calvert families/individuals were recorded living in Middlesbrough in the 1881 census. David has also found a photograph of another American descendant of John Calvert, a DeWayne Edward Calvert(1922-1999) with whom he bares a striking resemblance. 

Could a member of the Middlesbrough CALVERT family possibly be David's genetic ancestor?

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Peter Essex [who traces his descent from the Minsterworth, Gloucestershire, UK Sterry line] has kindly supplied some photos from the family album. This is his grandmother, Frances Essex nee Sterrey [1888-1957].

It is not often that I get to add a new family tree. It is therefore with great pleasure that I launch the Burford, Shropshire STARIE tree. This tree has been developed in close collaboration with Winsome Compsom [from Australia] and Mike Cole [from Canada] who are both directly related to the Burford line. Their personal research over many years forms the basis of this family line and is gratefully acknowledged. The contribution of other STARIE researchers is also acknowledged, especially that of Chris Clark from the USA.


This is indeed a STARY/STARIE tree rather than a STERRY tree. In the English counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire in particular, the surnames STERRY and STARY/STARIE are often confused. In the case of one STERRY tree, the Worcestershire, UK line, we know it is definitely descended from the STARIE surname.

The earliest parish records located for this family come from Burford St Mary and Coreley St Peter in Shropshire. However, the evidence of Wills suggest the family also had a very early presence in Tenbury in the adjoining county of Worcestershire.

The parish register for Tenbury St Mary the Virgin is in very poor condition between 1553-1661 and much of it is illegible. Likewise there is a gap in the early Coreley registers 1624-1696 although the Bishops Transscripts from 1660 to some extent fill this gap.

For this reason many baptisms, marriages and burials relating to this family have been lost and the construction of their early family history is based largely on the evidence of Wills. Fortunately the family had both real and/or personal estate from at least the mid fifteenth century that necessitated the leaving of a Will. The earliest STARY wills located are Richard Stary  of Tenbury [1445], John Stare of The Hem, Burford [1537-1539] and Thomas Starie of Burford [1545].

The birth dates stated in the early part of the Starie, Burford family tree should therefore be treated as only approximations.

The earliest form of the surname appears to be STARY or STAREY.  However, the form of the surname STARIE was used as early as  1590 and the surname was often spelt this way from the early 1700s although all forms continue into modern times. For the sake of consistency, the form STARIE has been used through this family tree. The forms STARIE, STAREY, STARRY and STARREY were more consistently adopted by various families from the 1700s and all forms continue into modern times. In the 1881 UK census the most common form was STAREY [48], followed by STARY [9], STARRIE [6], STARRY [5], STARIE [4] and STARREY [1] [Source: Family Search]

The STARY/STAREY/STARIE family had a very early connection to a farm called The Hemm near Tilsop in Shropshire. It apparently stayed in the family until the death of John Starie, the son of Joseph Haydon Starie, in 1928. Coreley was the closest church to The Hemm and would have been the local parish church for many of the early family. Tilson lies about half way between Nash and Coreley and the frequently mentioned Redford is less than a mile of Tilson. It is only 2 miles from Coreley to Nash. The Hemm farm still exists today. Coreley to Burford is about 4 miles. It is about 4 and a half miles from Coreley to Tenbury. No family property records have been located.

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I was very excited to receive by email today from David Eric Sterry in the UK this photo of a gravestone at Castlemaine [Campbell Creek] Cemetery in Victoria, Australia published on billiongraves.com.

Although I arranged for it to be placed on the grave of my g.g.grandfather several years ago, I had never actually seen it.

Although the local cemetery trust had details on the location of the graves of my g.g. grandfather Theophilus Sterry and his two children Edward and Eliza, there was previously no headstone or even a marker to identify their grave. So of course I had to do something about that!

Their story is a sad one as reported below in the June 28, 1866 edition of the "The Mount Alexander Mail".

"A few days ago we noticed that typhus fever was prevalent on the district. A death from this painful disease has occurred in the Hospital, a little boy named STERRY being the victim. His father and brother (this was probably in fact his sister, Eliza Sophia-ed) died of the same complaint about a week ago, and another brother (Thomas-ed) now lies in the Hospital suffering from an attack of the fever."

As did hundreds of thousands of other migrants of the day, Theophilus hoped to make his fortune digging for gold. He was not one of the lucky ones. You can read his full story on Sterry World Wide: http://www.sterryworldwide.com/theoster.htm

Thank you David.

The Sterry DNA Project commenced in December 2007.

Twenty two male STERRYS have now joined the Project. Numbers corresponding to individual STERRY lines are as follows:

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk - 6
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [linked to Bury St Edmunds tree] - 1
Longhope, Gloucestershire - 3
Bermondsey, Surrey - [linked to the Longhope tree] 1
Southwold, Suffolk - 4
Lambeth, Surrey - 0
Ruardean, Gloucestershire [incorporating Southwark, Surrey line] - 1
Minsterworth, Gloucestershire - [linked to the Longhope tree] 1
Lowestoft, Suffolk - 1
Ipswich, Suffolk - 1
Pakefield, Suffolk - 0
Worcestershire - 1
Stonington, Connecticut, USA - 1
Tennessee, USA – [linked to the Stonington, CT tree] 1
Starks, Maine, USA - 0

To date, the Project has achieved the following:

· Confirmed the documentary evidence of all major Sterry lines.
· Shown that the Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England line actually represents two different DNA signatures.  We have traced the DNA signatures for the three known sons of Simon Sterry [1713-1792] who produced living male descendants. Two descendant lines share the same haplogroup and one does not. This indicates that at least one of his sons was probably adopted or illegitimate.
· Confirmed the assumed link between the Melbourne, Australia line and the main Bury St Edmunds tree.
· Shown that the Southwold, Suffolk Sterry line consists of two distinct lines [one descended from John Sterry and Mary Strange; the other from James Sterry and Elizabeth Cobourne] that are related but further back in their ancestral lines than documentary evidence has to date uncovered. DNA evidence has also shown that the grandfather of one those tested on the Southwold line could not have been the natural son of his own father.
· Connected the Bermondsey, Surrey, England line to the Longhope, Gloucestershire, England line
· Established that the Tennessee USA line is connected to the much older Stonington, Connecticut, USA line
· Shown that the Minsterworth, Gloucestershire, England line is connected to the older Longhope, Gloucestershire, England line.

None of these connections could have been made from documentary evidence alone.
We would very much like to test at least two members of each of the main Sterry lines. If only one person has been tested we cannot be sure that they necessarily represent the typical DNA signature of that line as they may be a descendant of an illegitimate or adopted child.

We are therefore hopeful of testing in the future at least one more person from the following lines:

Lambeth, Surrey, England
Ruardean, Gloucestershire, England
Lowestoft, Suffolk, England
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Pakefield, Suffolk, England
Starks, Maine, USA
Worcestershire, England

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I was most surprised recently to across an article in Wikipedia on my own grandfather, Arthur William Sterry, with a cross reference to the article I wrote on him in Sterry WorldWide:

I hasten to add I didn't put it there!

So I wondered what other Sterrys had also made it to Wikipedia as well. You can check for yourself but Sterry listings currently include:

Norman Sedgwick Sterry (July 8, 1878 – February 3, 1971) was an American lawyer and football player.

Peter Sterry
Peter Sterry (1613–1672) was an English independent theologian

Charlotte Cooper Sterry (née Charlotte Reinagle Cooper, 22 September 1870 – 10 October 1966) was a tennis player

Thomas Sterry Hunt (September 5, 1826 – February 12, 1892) was a United States geologist and chemist .

David Henry Sterry is an American author , actor /comic , activist and former sex worker .

Joseph Ashby-Sterry
Joseph Ashby-Sterry (1836(8?)- 1917) was an English poet and novelist.

It hadn't occurred to me to check Wikipedia for STERRY references previously. I could of course add to many of them from my own research. Another item for my 'to do' list! And of course another way of promoting STERRY interest and research.

I've just created a STERRY Family History Community Forum in Google Plus. I'm hoping it will promote some interesting discussion amongst those interested in STERRY genealogy. If you have received an invitation to join, you can view it from the link: 'View or comment on Robert Sterry's post'. If you are viewing my personal Google Plus page, click on the Communities link on the left column. However, to comment yourself and join in the discussion you need to join Google Plus. But you only need to enter minimal information to join - just your name and email. Your feedback and any contribution at this early stage would be greatly appreciated. [Google Plus is similar to Facebook but has some additional features that might prove useful to our family history research. But until more people join, the forum will be more of a private one than a public one. So we can ease ourselves in gracefully!]
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