Winter always seems to be a busy time for research, and this year has been no exception. We dodged the worst of the recent Nor’easter – no loss of power or internet! We still have over a foot of snow on the ground. I posted these updates now in case we are not so lucky with the next storm.
This update has small and medium additions and updates throughout the genealogies from readers who have sent me updates in addition to a few major projects.
I was contacted by a descendant from Vermont whose Stedman family is part of the large Ardingly/Sevenoaks, England, Stedman family. I was able to massively update the whole family of William Stedman and Sarah Ann Whiting of West Malling, Kent, England. They had seven children: 2 died young, one moved to Guernsey; one daughter married and moved to Rhode Island. One of the sons, George Stedman, whom I had previously thought to have died young, had a family that have now been traced for up to 5 generations in England. Daughter Ellen died as a young mother; one daughter removed to Guersney; the other married and raised a large family in New Zealand. Alfred was the last child and his father died when he was an infant. He spent about 20 years in Guernsey before returning to England. Two of his daughters married Larg brothers and moved to New York; one of his sons moved to New Zealand; several died young in Guernsey; and one (Alfred John Stedman) married his uncle’s widow.
As I have said many times, a lot of my research is driven by the DNA results we get. Such is the case this month. We got an almost surprising match. A descendant of Rev. William Golding Stedman of Colchester, Essex, England and a descendant of the Pakenham/Thruston, Suffolk family turned up as a close DNA match. The Suffolk descendant has a large ancestry.com tree of the two families, but we have still not found a provable link between the families.
We decided to take on a long term project to update those families. With this update, I am posting a major update the Essex side of the family. We have now proven that Rev. William was a son of Thomas Stedman and Olave/Olive Golding of Mount Bures and Colchester, Essex. I have posted a transcription of his Will. Thomas was a son of Thomas Stedman and Mary Cole of Mount Bures and that Thomas Sr. was a son of James Stedman of Bures Hamlet whose 1779 Will (also found and transcribed) proves part of a large part of the early family. I believe that James was born in the early 1700s and is the link into the Suffolk family.
In doing the research, we found the records and especially the Parish Records available on-line (for a subscription fee) at the Essex Ancestors site to be invaluable. If only all of the English Counties could provide similar information! We learned a bit of geography in doing this. The river Stour splits the town of Bures with part of it (Bures St. Mary) in Suffolk and Bures Hamlet in Essex. The Parish for Bures Hamlet is St. Mary in Bures St. Mary so the records are only available in the Suffolk records office. Consequently, there are details and clues that have not yet been looked at.
Based on my analysis, at least two Stedmans – brothers – were in the Parish. The other had two children who did not marry. James had three documented sons: Thomas, John, and James. We have only a sketchy understanding of James’s family. If anyone has details, please advise.
Lastly, on this extended family, I moved the family of Barnard Stedman from the American family tree to the UK family tree as we now have evidence – but not proof!! – that Barnard was a son of John Stedman and Bridget Booty of the Suffolk family and who was known as Barnett in the parish baptismal record. Barnard married Charlotte Watson in Ixworth, Suffolk, in 1822 and about 1830, he and his family seems to have immigrated to Prince Edward Island, Canada. They subsequently went to Boston in 1851, and thence to Illinois where they died. I have just received an extensive genealogy of Barnard’s family that needs to be reviewed.
Let me say a few words about the Suffolk family as there is a raging controversy about its origins. David Stedman, my colleague in Wales and our expert on DNA and the early Stedmans, points out, quite rightly, that Stedmans have been recorded in Suffolk for hundreds of years; however, it would seem that most of the families seen there in the last two hundred years descend from two (or more) brothers who seem to have shown up in the 1600s, and they have been documented in various sources – including the 1858 Barton-Stedman Genealogy – as originating in Kinross, Scotland. Dave makes the point that the 2 DNA samples we have do not match the DNA of any suspected Barton-Stedman descendant. However, Some of the naming suggests a connection to the Barton-Stedmans, and one researcher has seen a letter that talks about the Scottish brothers who came to Bury St. Edmunds. Stay tuned…
Now, lest you think I spend all of my time researching in England, I did one project among the Nova Scotia Steadmans. I have completely re-worked the family of Joseph Steadman, son of William Angus Stedman and Mary Emaline Trueman of Moncton, New Brunswick. I have had family papers and photographs, shared by descendants of this family, that tell a wonderful story for this family.
I did another side project on Dorothy M Stedman that I will describe in a separate post.
These are just the highlights. Please check out your family and see if I have made any updates. Or check out the “What’s New” Page to see the detailed changes.
Nashua, New Hampshire USA
13 February 2013