Steel, Steele A Scottish surname of local origin, there are places so named in Ayr, Berwick and Dumfries. Also an English surname referring to a person who was as reliable as steel. In 1890 Steel was principally found in Antrim and Derry, and the estimated number of bearers was 2,420. In the United States Steele is the 312th most numerous surname with an estimated 96,250 bearers. It is numerous in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. In England and Wales in 1996 Steele was the 402nd most numerous surname.