Founding of the Stedman Family in Scotland


Adapted in part from: “Barton and Stedman also Steedman and Steadman Families” by Joseph Earle Steadman (pp. 9-13)

During the course of a few generations the descendants of Sir John and Joan Stedman were scattered throughout England, Scotland, and Wales.

The late Charles von Barton-Stedman (a Prussian nobleman whose paternal grandfather was a native of Scotland), being a painstaking genealogist of the Stedman family, in 1867 and 1868 stated: “It is not improbable that the Stedman family came to Scotland from Yorkshire, England, where they were among the oldest gentry.” He further stated: “Their arms were granted, or altered, or augmented by Robert or David Bruce, although it cannot yet be proved, our records being mostly destroyed or carried off during the many disorders that happened in the Kingdom. . . The sprig of prickly holly might have been granted by Robert Bruce.”

Patricius Stedman, a descendant of Sir John and Joan Stedman, is named in the heretofore mentioned Barton-Stedman Memoir as an ancestor of Charles Stedman the father of Susan who married Alexander Barton, son of Admiral Sir Andrew Barton, Knight. The line of descent (probably five or six generations) from Patricius is not shown in the memoir, but the claim of descent is recognized by the Herald’s College in London, England. In 1979 the late Reverend Melvin Lee Steadman, Jr., reported having found mention of Patricius as being an admiral, and planned an attempt to “find the missing generations.”

(The Reverend Mr. Steadman and late Joseph Earle Steadman were presumed to have a common ancestor in James Stedman/Steadman (1598-1686) of “Little Seggie,” County Kinross, Scotland. Recent DNA evidence has disproved this.)

In 1369, payments totaling XXIII £ (23 pounds) were made to Patricius Steidman (or Patricis Stedman) of Edinburgh, this being done by mandate of King David II of Scotland to Simon de Prestoun, Vice-Count of Edinburgh. (Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1359-1379). In Stoddart’s Scottish Arms (Kings’ and Nobility’s Arms, 1370-1678), his name is shown as “Patrick Stedman.”

Founding of the Stedman Family in Scotland

After a close study of English and Scottish records, it appeared to Joseph Earle Steadman that the line of descent from Calcarba, or Calcarbus, to Patricius Stedman probably is as follows.

This lineage is derived, in part, from the 1858 Barton-Stedman Memoir by John Stedman of Bath. This genealogy is maintained in greater detail in the family trees attached to this web site. Links on this page will take you directly to the individual mentioned.

1. Calcarba de Steddanham ( ca. 1146 – 1187 )

2. John Stedman – le Stedeman ( ca. 1171 – ? )

3. John le Stedeman ( ca. 1196 – ? )

John le Stedeman, Esquire, of County Kent, England. He married Anne Forster (daughter and heir of James Forster, Esquire, of County Berks, England) and settled in County Berks. He is mentioned as a progenitor of the Stedman family which settled in Wales. (Nicholas, Counties and County Families of Wales; Dunn, Heraldic Visitation of Wales, Vol. I).

4. Roger le Stedeman ( ca. 1221 – ? )

Roger le Stedeman of County Derby, England. A case between Henry de Mapletone and Roger le Stedeman of Easeborne (Ashborne) and Alice his wife, deforcients, was heard at Nottingham during the court term of 31 March – 21 April 1252. The case involved real estate situated in the village of Dale and claimed by both the plaintiff and the deforcients. (Journal of Derbyshire Archaeology and Natural History Society, Vol. 8).

5. John le Stedeman ( ca. 1246 – ? )

John le Stedman of Fulford, County York, England. In 1302 he was “assaulted and spoiled of goods”; and, in 1326, he was mentioned as the father of Thomas le Stedeman. The said assault and spoilage occurred during the period when the Scots were struggling to maintain their independence from the rule of Edward I, King of England, and when parties of Scotsmen were making occasional raids through the northern counties of England. It appears that John was sympathetic toward the cause of the Scots, and that the damage which he suffered was done by the English in retaliation against him because of some aid and encouragement which he had given to the Scots’ raiding parties. (Ancient Deeds, Patent Rolls, or State Papers of England).

6. Thomas le Stedeman ( ca. 1271 – ? )

Thomas le Stedeman of the West Riding of County York, son of John le Stedeman of Fulford, in 1299 was named in a “commission (or writ) of oyer and terminer” granted to a certain person for hearing and determining a case against him. Since the case involved treason, felony, or misdemeanor on the part of Thomas, and since the act was committed during the period of strife between Edward I (King of England) and Robert Bruce (crowned King of Scotland in 1306), it appears that the criminal act was related to the political struggle of the time. He probably was charged with having given aid and encouragement to the Scots, but eventually escaped and fled to Scotland where he became a supporter of the cause of independence for that country. (Ibid.)

7. Simon le Stedeman ( ca. 1296 – ? )

Simon le Stedman presumably was born in County York, England, and went to Scotland with his father. He evidently was a leader among the Scots’ forces sent by Robert Bruce (King of Scotland) to harry the English Counties of York and Northumberland, in retaliation for English inroads in Scotland, during the period of 1318-1323. In 1321 he was in an engagement with a body of Englishmen commanded by Sir Alexander de Mowbray. This engagement resulted in a peace treaty between Simon le Stedeman, Scotsman, and Sir Alexander de Mowbray, as recorded in the Records of the Scottish Privy Council. Another record states that in 1321 Simon le Stedeman was received to the English King’s (Edward II’s) peace,” evidently meaning that the king received and agreed to the peace treaty made between Stedeman and Mowbray. (Black, The Surnames of Scotland.)

8. Patricius Stedman/Steidman ( ca. 1321 – ? )

The forementioned Charles Stedman, descendant of Patricius Stedman, was of Leith, Scotland. He married Janet Nielson, and they were the parents of Susan Stedman who married Alexander Barton.

Some Final Thoughts

It has been written that Calcarba de Steddanham, upon winning his battles in the Holy Land, took as a wife the daughter of an Arab Prince and that his son John is a product of that union… Consequently, all Stedmans are also descendants of the Prophet Mohammed. It is a story. I do not know if it is true. Some researchers believe this to be a 19th century invention and addition to the Stedman history.

Gary Boyd Roberts is one of the leading research genealogists at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (Boston); his specialty is Royal Descents.  As you consider your ancestral roots, let me share this from an article he published in Ancestry Magazine:

“… sixty percent or more of the American people are descended from kings.

“This descent is usually derived through roughly 350 royally descended immigrants of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Royal descent occurs, of course, because the younger children of kings become or marry nobles; the younger children of nobles become or marry landed gentry; the younger children of landed gentry become bureaucrats or professionals; and the younger children of professional elites have become middle-class citizens of the Anglo-American and British-derived world.”