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About us

The Stead DNA Project welcomes all participants. We encourage you to join today!.

Our project is just getting started, and we expect to have many exciting discoveries.

Participating is an opportunity to uncover information not provided in the paper records, which will help with your research of your family tree. We will also discover which family trees are related. As the project progresses, the results for the various family trees will provide information on the evolution of the surname.

The surnames in this DNA Project are researched as part of the Stead one-name study. You can learn more about this significant research, and the associated family trees, by visiting the one-name study web site, or contacting the Group Administrator.

The Y DNA test tells you about your direct male line, which would be your father, his father, and back in time. You must be male to take this test, and you should have one of the surnames shown. If you believe there is a Stead or variant in your direct male line, although you have a different surname, you are also welcome to participate by ordering the 'Family Finder' test. If you are female, you are encouraged to find a direct line male Stead (or spelling variation) in your family tree to participate and represent your tree or you can try taking the 'Family Finder' test yourself.

We encourage males to order a Y-DNA test for 37 markers, if possible. If you order less markers, you can upgrade later, though this costs a little more.

Both males and females may also be interested in learning about their direct female line, which would be their mother, their mother's mother, and back in time. Both men and women inherit mtDNA, although only women pass it on. To explore your direct female line, you would order a mtDNA test. For matches in a genealogical time frame, order the mtDNA Full Sequence test.

We have also established a General Fund, to accept donations in any currency via credit card. These funds will be held at the testing company, and used to help sponsor test kits for those key males who would otherwise be unable to afford the cost of participation in the project. We encourage you to make a donation. To make a donation please click on the link below "To donate to the general fund please click here". If you decide to donate, please specify "Stead Project General Fund" in the top box of the Donation form.

Origins of the surname: 

This interesting name with spellings of Stead, Steed, Steade and Stede, has two distinct possible origins, both Olde English. The first is a location surname from a place in the West Riding of Yorkshire called "Stead". This was named from the pre 7th Century word "stede", meaning an estate, or large farm. As early examples Richard de Stede of the county of Lancashire in the year 1276, and Roberd del Stede, of the county of Yorkshire, in 1336, are among the first recorded name-bearers from this source. Secondly, the name may derive from the word "steda", meaning a stud-horse or stallion, and originally given as a nickname to a man of mettle or high spirits! As examples from this source Henry le Stede was noted in the register known as the Eynsham Cartulary of Oxfordshire, in 1281. Later examples taken at random from early surviving church registers include those of Bucknell Stead, the son of Ezekill Stead, who was christened at St. George's church, East Stonehouse, in the town of Devonport, Devonshire, on April 3rd 1641, and on September 23rd 1690, Anne Stead was christened at the famous church of St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Uchtred Stede. This was dated 1180, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry II, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.