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History of the Surname of Sturgeon

 

 

 In the chronicles of England are the early records of the name of Sturgeon as a Norman surname and it ranks as one of the oldest and is part of the history of Britain.

After the use of manuscripts such as the Doomsday Book (complied in 1086 by William the Conqueror), the Ragman Rolls, the Wace poem and the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, the Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, tax records, baptismal, family genealogies and local parish and church records, shows the name of Sturgeon was found in Suffolk where they were Lords of  the manor of Whepstead from very early times, and they descended from Ralph of Whepstead who held that Lordship after the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.  from the Abbott of  St. Edmund's. According to the Doomsday Book , Whepstead consisted of a church, eighteen  beasts, thirty pigs, and one hundred sheep, their descendants later erected what is known as Manston Hall.

We found  many spellings of the name. They were typically linked to a common root, usually one of the Norman nobles at the Battle of Hastings. Sturgeon, was in many references and included the spellings of Sturgen, Sturgeon, Stergeon, Sturgion, Sturgione, Strugeon, Strugen, Strugeone, Strugeoun, as well as others. Scribes recorded and spelled the name as it sounded. It was not unlikely that a person would be born with one spelling, married with another, and buried with a headstone that showed another spelling and in relation to the same person.

Preferences for different spellings either came from a division of the family, religious , or patriotic reasons.

The name of Sturgeon  is believed to have descended originally from the Norman race.  They were commonly believed to be of French origin, but were, more accurately, of Viking origin.  The Vikings, landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 A.D. under their Chief, Stirgud the Stout. Under their Earl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 910 A.D. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and Northern France was granted to Rollo.

Rollo was the first Duke of Normandy in the territory of the North Men, Duke William  whom invaded and defeated England in 1066, descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

Duke William had a census taken for most of England in 1086 and recorded it in the Doomsday Book.  If a family is traced back to this document or to Hastins, was a signal Honour for most families during the middle ages, and even to this day.

The Sturgeon name emerged as a notable English family name in the county of Suffolk.  Edmund  Strugen was a soldier of the Norman Conquest and married Armatrude de Danby whom was the daughter of the Lord of Great and Little Danby. He changed his name to Danbie.

By the 13th century the family name had branched north into Scotland, then to Dumfried and Kirkcudbright where their were seated in Dumfries in 1544, where Andrew and John Sturgioun were the scions of the family.  Some time later, James Sturgeon was seated at Wraithes in Kirkcudbright, and Clement Sturgeon of Wraithes was chief of the family and father of Adam Sturgeon in 1636.  The Sturgeon's also held territories at Over Carntorsk in Kirkcudbright. Samuel Sturgeon wrote "The Galloway Herds".  At this time there was Andrew and John Sturgion of Dumfries.

The name of Sturgeon has contributed much to local politics and in the affairs of England and Scotland. During the 12th century a lot of these Norman families moved to the north of Scotland following the Earl David of Huntingdon who later became the King of Scotland.

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, England and Scotland were ravaged by religious and political conflict. At that time the Church and Parliament fought for supremacy.  Because of this,  many thought of other lands.

The settlers in Ireland became known as the "Adventures from the  land in Ireland", They vowed to keep the Protestant faith. and were and granted lands previously owned by the Irish. Not many records have been found of this distinguished family migrating to Ireland, only a few  in an individual migration.

There was news of attractions of the the New World and it spread like wildfire.  Many sailed about the fleet of sailing ships known as the "White Sails".

In North America, migrants could be considered kinsmen of the family name Sturgeon, and it variable spelling of the name, some included Janet Sturgeon and her husband whom settled in St John island in 1775: Robert Sturgeon who settled in Maine in 1726: John Sturgeon who settled in New England in 1740: William Sturgeon who arrived in Philadelphia PA in 1832.  Also, Thomas who settled in Newfoundland, and was a fisherman of Quidi Vidi in 1785.  Many joined and later went west with the wagon trains.  During the War of Independence some declared their loyalty to the Crown and moved northward into Canada and late became known as the United Empire Loyalists. The family was prominent in the social scene, and also many notable of our name, Sturgeon, John Sturgen, Consulting Physician.