The origins of the Steriev surname... This is not the whole story but at least for some Steriev family tree it's definitely not Irish, that's for sure! The first part of this last name, Steri, comes from the Greek Sterio, or Stereo. This last name is the result of having an ancestor whose first name was Stereo. Allegedly, he was a priest trained in Athens and lived in Mariovo and Trnovo near Bitola (Manastir, Monastir or Monastiri) in what is today the Republic of Macedonia. Priest Sterio, or Pop Sterio was trained as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church. He was well liked by the local population because in a time when most priests viewed their congregation as idiot-morons he treated the people with dignity. During the time Macedonia was under Turkish control this family name was PapaSteriou. Then Macedonia was wrested from Turkish control by victorious Serbian armies. During the early 1930's this grandfather Sterio (not the priest) found that he would be hassled less when crossing the administrative districts in Serbia if he had a Serbian surname. In a flash, PapaSteriou became Pop Sterijevich. This worked until the late forties. With the Kingdom of Yugoslavia disintegrating under the onslaught of fasciast armies, the Bulgarians took control of Vardar Macedonia. It was clear that the diplomatic thing to do was to change the family name to Pop Steriev. Eventually, Partisans 'liberated' Macedonia and since the name was changed to Pop Sterijevski. It still has a Serbian element in terms of that.

So what was the point of this musical history of that name ? Why did I not say, " I am from the beautiful land of Macedonia, land of beautiful streams...mountains..." If you have any knowledge of recent history you know that Yugoslavia has completely gone to pieces. One of the shards, Macedonia, has a big dispute with all of its neighbors. Bulgarians claim that those who live in Macedonia are Bulgarians, Serbs claim Macedonians as Southern Serbians, Greeks say Macedonia is Greece, that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a creation of Tito. Those in Macedonia believe they are Macedonians. As you can see from this little narrative all these viewpoints are, to some extent, true.  But nothing in life is clear cut except mathematical certainty!