At the top of my Steer tree – provided by my grandfather in the 1980s – was Joshua Steer: The # links to another comment on his tree about Joshua’s heritage: Another family member provided us with two pieces of parchment paper with handwritten lists of the birth dates of Joshua and Sarah’s children to add to the list my grandfather had, but where did Joshua come from? My grandfather – David Day, not St David’s Day like yesterday! – appeared to think that Joshua was a yeoman farmer born about 1810, with his unnamed father born in 1785. I have no idea where he got this information from….! However, on purchasing Joshua’s death certificate , it would appear that in fact he was born in 1785….
1864 – 78 = 1786…. But the question remained: where was Joshua from? The census provided more information but unfortunately, also blurred the picture …. The 1861 census stated he was an ‘almsman formerly a carman’ and was born in ‘Pauls Perry, Northamptonshire’ and the 1851 census recorded him as a ‘labourer’ born in ‘Northumberland’.
Joshua married Sarah Delamore on 26 December 1814 at St Andrew Holborn (Source: Guildhall, St Andrew Holborn, Register of marriages, 1813 – 1815, P69/AND2/A/01/Ms 6672/1):
… with Benjamin Steer as one of the witnesses. His father, brother, cousin….? I decided to delve deeper into the closest parish spelling to ‘Pauls Perry’ which was PAULERSPURY. A very kind soul from the unfortunately now defunct Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness website offered look-ups in the Northamptonshire Record Office and located Joshua baptised 2 July 1786 of John and Elizabeth Steers. His brother, Benjamin is baptised on the same page of the parish register, on 11 July 1784:
Joshua had a large family in London after marrying Sarah Delamore. But Benjamin did not marry until 27 June 1842, when he married a widow, Elizabeth Rodgers, formerly Panter:
It is unlikely that the couple had any children as Elizabeth was 43 years old and Benjamin was 57 years old at the time of their marriage. Elizabeth was ‘blind’ according to the 1861 census for Roade (RG9/932/57/10) and sadly the couple died within months of one another: Elizabeth of decay, buried 8 January 1863 aged 64 and Benjamin of decay, buried 2 June 1863 aged 78 – his brother Joshua dying at exactly the same age, two years later.
It’s amazing how a great oak tree can grow from a small acorn….