Origins of surname
This name probably came from the old English style, meaning ‘steel’, and indicated someone who worked with iron and steel – essentially a smith. The same foundry or forge could produce both iron and steel, the latter having had, in early times, bone (calcium) added. A man engaged in its production, which was much prized in the Middle Ages both for armour and armour-piercing arrowheads, would be called Steel.
The late Dr Frank Le Maistre OBE, wrote that the name in St Martin was originally Estille. This would agree with early spellings Steill, Steille and Stille. The name features in Jersey records in and from 1528: Stevens, Arthur and Stevens, Jersey Place Names, I, 505.
Stille was for centuries the principal spelling of this name, although Steel also featured. The latter anglicised version predominated from the late 19th century.
Sire Thomas Steill, or Steel, was Rector of St Clement, 1532-c.1542. Messervy tells us that his principal heir, in about 1542, was Robert Still: ABSJ, VII, 266.
Francois Stille, son of Jean, was baptized in St Martin in 1616. A Francois Stille, son of Jean, perhaps the same person, was buried in the same parish in 1628.
Jean Stille married in St Martin in 1636, as his third wife, Elizabeth Bree, widow of Thomas Cabot.
The bearers of this surname, which still survives, were never numerous. It was principally associated with St Martin. The website www.ancestry.co.uk has confused Stelle with Scelle (Seale), especially in entries from the St Brelade register, although also in St Helier.
- Steel baptisms in Jersey
- Steel marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Steel marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Steel burials in Jersey
Great War service
- Clement Philip Steel (1895- ) (St B) ex-RMIJ, Private, Essex Regiment, PoW
- Ernest William Steel (1897- ) (St B) Private, Hampshire Regiment
These wills created by members of the Steel family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Clement Steel, St Brelade - 7 June 1922, D/Y/A/82
- William Steel, St Helier bequeaths to the poor of St Helier £1 - 9 April 1903, D/Y/A/62
- Robert Steele of 2, Thornton Villas, St Helier - 21 May 1884, D/Y/A/44
- Emma Steele of 8 Almorah Crescent, St Helier, widow - 10 April 1889, D/Y/A/48
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