Family History



THOMAS STEER, the elder

Born: 1742

Died: 1819 Cokeham, Sompting.

Married: 1766 Sompting Frances Goble.

Thomas’s baptism has yet to be found. His date of birth has been calculated from the age given for him in Sompting burial register

Thomas was married 16/7/1766 Sompting and both made their marks. It was witnessed by Mary Garton and John Stubbs. He was buried 2/5/1819 Sompting. He was living Cokeham

The Stubbs family was a prominent farming family in Sompting.and it could be that the Steers worked for them for a long period as a John Stubbs also witnessed the marriage of this Thomas’s son Thomas and stood surety for his marriage bond.

Cokeham is probably now only known to residents of Sompting from street names however The Victoria History of Sussex (from pp 53-64) says two centres of settlement, Sompting and Cokeham, were recorded in the 11th century; they formed two vills in the 13th century (and were still regarded as separate villages in 1814. From the mid 19th century at latest distinction was made between Upper Cokeham, at the eastern end of West Street, and Lower Cokeham, south of Cokeham Road around Cokeham manor-house. Sompting and Upper Cokeham lay along West Street, the old Chichester–Brighton road. The church and two of the manor–houses of the parish, however, were further north on rising ground. The bounds of the village changed little until the late 19th century, and c. 1900 the three settlements were still distinct. There were only c. 10 more houses in the parish in 1811 than in the 17th century, but numbers rose thereafter from 60 to 166 by 1871, With Cokeham lying between Sompting and Lancing it is not surprising that there was much movement between labourers in the two settlement, and also marriages between residents of both.

During Thomas’s time it was very much an agricultural area with sheep on the northern slopes and crops towards the coast. The market gardens which were to cover a lot of Cokeham came a little later.


Children: George Steer b 1767 possibly died 1850 married possibly 1796 Elizabeth Bacon

Hannah born 1768 married| 1799 James Penfold

Thomas Steer b. 1770 died 1770

Thomas Steer b 1772 died 1848 married 1798 Martha Merritt

Fanny Steer b 1772 married 1794 John Patching

John Steer b 1773 died 1773

John Steer b 1774 died 1833 married Amy Cooter

Ambrose Steer b 1777 died 1801

James Steer b 1779 Sompting died 1824 married 1799 Sarah Emery

Mary Steer b 1781 died 1853 married 1808James Bashford

Elizabeth b 1785 Sompting Steer

Sarah Steer b 1786 Sompting died 1859 married 1805 William Pearce

Ann Steer b 1790 Sompting died 1859 married 1817 Hugh Young