Origin, Expansion, Migration
Because of recent DNA Testing results, the genealogy information offered on this page MAY only be accurate for the TE/TI spellings of our surname. These are the descendents of Samuel Sturtevant of Massacussetts and present day TI spelling in England. Please see the Genetic Project Results page for more.
As of May 2005, the DE spelling is still an orphan. We have no idea where William came from.
Sturdevants - Where We Came From
The history of our line of Sturdevants reflects the westward expansion from the coasts of Scandanavia to England, gathering in London, crossing to, and of, America and the New World.
Because of the name derivation, it is probable that we are products of early Norse invaders and later Norman invaders of early England. It is believed that the original Sturtevants formed in the shires of Nottinghamshire and Lancashire, with the first written reference in 1272. "Stirtavaunt (first name not given) who was a Freeman of the City of York in 1272." A time of privately financed crusades, the name may have been earned on one of the expeditions.
Richard the First had just hunted the forests of Sherwood in Nottinghamshire, the Magna Carta had been signed, and the pilgrims of the Canterbury Tales were on the roads of the shires. Normandy was being lost on the Continent and the 100 Years War was on the horizon. The Edwards were consolidating England and moving south into Wales. They established bureacractic government. This is the late 13th and early 14th centuries in England, when the "Messengers" started forward.
Revolution and Reform: The Gathering and Embarkation
The first half of the 17th century in England was marked by the rule and upheaval of the reigns of Charles I, betrayed by his Scots and beheaded by the forces of Parliament, and his son Charles II. War with Spain, war with the Scots, and then war with France.
Perhaps, sensing the upcoming war with Cromwell, and subsequent restoration of the Crown, Samuel may have prayed for guidance in this church. The Pilgrims had already landed in the New World. The Atlantic was now being regularly traveled. Virginia and points south were being exploited and explored. Why not board a ship? We don't know this scenario to be true, but this is the fun of genealogy.
In Ray Sturtivant's English research of the Sturtivant name, at Sturtivant.org he indicates that most of the early bearers of our surname were located in the shires of Nottinghamshire and Lancashire. Only the Nottinghamshire branch survived to the 1600 - 1700s, when we first came to the new World.
William Sturtivant of Norwell Woodhouse in Nottinghamshire, who died in 1629/30, was most likely the grand patriarch of all the surviving spellings of the name. His two grandsons John and Francis are the patriarchs of the surviving branches worldwide.
The name William, or rather the lack of the name William, in the American Connecticut line and the dominance of John is a matter of much discussion. There is only one William, but many John and Samuels.