The Stoors are one of the three races of Hobbits who mostly inhabited swampy areas.
One of the most infamous Stoors was Smeagol, who would later become the creature known as Gollum.
They were heavier and broader in build than the other Hobbits, and had large hands and feet. Among the Hobbits, the Stoors most resembled Men and were most friendly to them. Stoors were the only Hobbits who normally grew facial hair.
A habit which set them apart from the Harfoots who lived in the mountain foothills, and the Fallohides who lived in forests far to the north, was that Stoors preferred flat lands and riversides. Only Stoors used boats, fished, and could swim. They also wore boots in muddy weather.
The Stoors also had their own dialect of Hobbitish, owing to the fact that they spent some time in Dunland and adopted many strange words and names which they took to the Shire, and retained even until the late Third Age.
The Stoors are believed to live in the southern vales of the River Anduin. During the Hobbit Wandering Days, after the Harfoots had migrated westward in TA 1050, and the Fallohides later followed them, the Stoors long remained back in the vale of Anduin, but between TA 1150 and 1300 they too migrated west.
Unlike the other Hobbit-kinds, the Stoors took the Redhorn Pass and followed a southern route, where many branched off and moved south to the Angle of Eriador, south of Rivendell, and mingled with Harfoots and Fallohides that lived there; but most went to Dunland (Swanfleet near Tharbad) which most resembled their old lands. There they came into contact with the Dunlendings. This contact altered their speech slightly, and the Stoors adopted to their tongue a few Dunlendish words over time.
A century later, Angmar began to threaten Eriador, and many Stoors of the Angle fled south to their kin in Dunland where they became a woodland people; others returned to Rhovanion and settled in the Gladden Fields, becoming riverland people Déagol and Sméagol belonged to (c. TA 2430). There they had a matriarchal society; nothing further is told of them.
The Stoors of Dunland moved back north to join the other Hobbits in colonizing the Shire about TA 1630 and settled mostly in the Eastfarthing and Southfarthing. The result was that places that were settled by Stoors have some slight linguistic oddities due to their time of separation and contact with the Dunlendings. The three original Hobbit-kinds merged and blended in the centuries since the settlement of the Shire, but regional variations remained.
Some of these villages might have survived until the War of the Ring, when they were sought out by the Ringwraiths.
However, most Stoors fled to the north and west, ending up in the newly founded Shire around TA 1630. There they mingled with the Harfoots and Fallohides, predominantly stayed in the Eastfarthing, and then migrated to Buckland.
Stoor is supposed to be a special Hobbitish word that did not exist in Westron during the War of the Ring.
Early English stor, stoor means "large, strong", referring to the fact that these Hobbits were of heavier build.
Portrayal in adaptations
In The Lord of the Rings Online an isolated village of Stoors called Maur Tulhau still exists in northern Enedwaith, which in-game corresponds to the area just north of Dunland proper. The Stoors of Maur Tulhau prefer to avoid the Big Folk whenever possible, but are still known to them and over the centuries have adopted some elements of Dunlendish clothing and language (which in-game is based on Welsh). They are discovered by Grey Company and the player on their journey south; later the player helps an adventurous Hobbit Bingo Boffin to establish the contact between Maur Tulhau and their cousins from the Shire proper.