Recorded as Starr, Starre, Sterre, Sturre, and the patronymics Starrs, this is an ancient English surname. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "steorra", and means a star. The word was often used as a nickname in the transferred sense of a patch of white hair on the forehead of a horse, and hence was given to a man with a streak of white hair. In some instances, the surname may also originate from a house or inn, distinguished by the sign of a star in the days before numbers. Finally, the surname may have developed from "Sterre", again meaning star, but used as a personal name, and recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. Early examples of the surname recordings include: Simon Sterre, who appears in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk in the year 1130, William Sturre, mentioned in the Assize Court Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1221, and John Starre, recorded in the Letter Books of the City of London in 1305. An example of an early recording from a surviving church register is that of Edward Starr. He married Joice Beddam on November 9th 1572, at St. Margaret Lothbury, in the city of London. A coat of arms associated with the surname has the blazon of a blue shield, charged with a pair of gold scales, within an orle of eight gold estoiles. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leuenot Sterre. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Derbyshire, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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