Jay Steele Blog is written by Jay Steel Hackenbracht. With a rather unique sirname, (think: hack und bracht — hoe and get broccoli/produce — you reap as you sow), I chose Steele for the purpose of this blog.
The “Steele” sirname dates back to 1066 when William the Conquerer passed out sirnames. It could also be from the word “style” meaning “gate” or “turnstyle.” There were all kinds of professions and background that could assume such a moniker. Historically, some made swords, some made horseshoes, and among our particular ancestors, it seems a lot of Steeles have a history in dairy farming.
Many early Steeles were in Sandbach Parish, today’s county Chester. It is a popular name in Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and many other parts of the world. So far, I count about 20 different paternal lines that have emigrated to America. So, like Smith and Jones, a lot of Steel(e)s might not be related. Hackenbracht, on the other hand… well, let’s just say it takes a most tolerant, loving gal to be willing to take a name like that!!
A great number of my ancestors (and probably yours, too), were kicked out of some of the finest countries in Europe. Some were on the losing side of the Ulster Land War. Some were Catholic in a Protestant State, others were Protestant in a Catholic State. Some were Ashkenazic Jews, Secularists, or with religious fervor, emphatically claimed no religion at all. There is an abandoned orphan, probably born out of wedlock. There are ancestors from both sides of the English and American Civil Wars. Ancestral and related families are pretty much a Heinz 57 collection. As a result, like a whole lot of us, it seems we end up as “American.” We are a nation of immigrants.