Feb 132013

While I was reviewing and updating the family of Dr. John Bernard Stedman, I looked for a death record for his daughter Dorothy May Stedman who was born 21 July 1899 in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. I found a death record for a Dorothy May Stedman whose death was registered at the Colchester RD in December 1994. That record showed a birth date of 2 August 1899. This was close, but I did not think it was correct, but no other record that seemed to match. According to Sussex Genealogies (where I found the birth date), she was unmarried as of April 1932 (the date of the publication).

I looked for another death record and none seemed to be a close enough match so I thought, maybe she married sometime after 1932. At this point, I decided that I should just sort out all of the women I had records for whose maiden or married name was Dorothy M Stedman. I did not check Dorothy M Steadmans or Dorothy M Steedmans. It is possible that some records left out the middle name initial and some used the wrong spelling. That study extension is for another day…

Believe it or not, there may be at least 40 different women whose name at one time was Dorothy M Stedman in UK or descended from a UK family. Most of them could be sorted out. But I still have a number of loose ends. In some cases, Dorothy may have left the UK, or married or died outside England and Wales, or changed her name, or was divorced, reverting to some former name.

Here is a summary of each of the ones that are not resolved. I welcome your help solving each of these puzzles.

1. Dorothy Mary Stedman (b. 1890, Gloucestershire – ?). She was a daughter of Charles and Minnie Stedman.

—> No further record. She has not yet been found in the 1911 Census.

2. Dorothy May Stedman (b. 21 July 1899, Bedfordshire – ? ). She was a daughter of Dr. Thomas Bernard Stedman and Clara Edith Hetherington. She was unmarried as of April 1932.

—> This is the Dorothy M Stedman who was the genesis of this study.

3. Dorothy Mabel A Stedman (1903-1904).

—> She was born and died in Wales (Crickhowell RD). I cannot identify who her parent were.

4. Dorothy Mabel Stedman (23 Feb 1905 – Feb 1992 in Sussex).

—> She is identified only from a death record. She is likely a wife or widow so her maiden name is not known or if she has any children. This is no England/Wales Dorothy Mabel Stedman that she could be. I suspect, but cannot prove, that she was the Dorothy M West who married Charles Frederick Stedman.

5. Dorothy May Stedman (b. 1907 in Surrey – ?) . She was a daughter of William John Stedman and his wife Sarah Jane.

—> She was likely the wife of Frederick Booth or one of the others mentioned below, but I cannot prove anything.

6. Dorothy Mary Stedman (b. 1909 in London – ?). She was a daughter of Walter John Stedman and Kate Lovett.

—> She was likely the wife of Frederick Booth or one of the others mentioned below, but I cannot prove anything.

7. Dorothy May Stedman (26 May 1910 – Nov 1993 in Surrey) married John Reginald Billmore (1922-1998) in 1953 in Surrey. They had children in 1955 and 1956 proving her maiden name.

—> Her birth date is found from her death record. I have not identified a birth record.

8. Dorothy M Carrington married Frederick Stedman (1903-1978) in Essex in 1967 as her second husband. Previously, she had been married to Alfred Thomas Saterlay (1909-1965).

—> She had children with Alfred Saterlay so I can be confident that her maiden name is Carrington, but I cannot determine when she was born or when she died. I would estimate that she was born 1905-1915. It is possible that she married again after Frederick died.

9. Dorothy M Stedman married Frederick W C Booth (b. 1922) in Hampshire in 1942. The appear to have had children in 1947 and 1958.

—> If these are her children, Stedman was her maiden name, and the birth years of the children eliminate her as being the Dorothy I was searching for. I do not know who her parents were. She was likely born between 1910 and 1925.

10. Dorothy M Stedman (b. 1922 in Kent – ?). Her mother’s maiden name was Horne, and I cannot identify for sure who her parents were.

—> She could be the Dorothy M Stedman who married either Frederick Booth, Cyril Hill, or David Philpott.

11. Dorothy M Stedman married Cyril B Hill in Surrey in 1949. No children identified.

—> This could be Dorothy. Or, she could be a widow or divorcee. I could not find any provable death record to help identify her. She was born before 1932.

12. Dorothy M West married Charles Frederick Stedman (1895-1959) in 1949 in Sussex. I have not identified any children.

—> Considering that this is a later married for Charles, Dorothy was likely a widow or divorcee. I have not identified when she was born. She could still be alive if she was young when Charles married her.

13. Dorothy M Stedman (b. 1929 in Surrey, to Charles Stedman and Lilian Gardner – ?) is not further resolved.

—> She could be the Dorothy M Stedman who married either Cyril Hill or David Philpott.

14. Dorothy M Stedman (b. 1937 in Surrey, to William Stedman and Doris White) is not further resolved.

—> She could be the Dorothy M Stedman who married either Cyril Hill or David Philpott.

15. Dorothy M Stedman married David J Philpott were married in 1954 in Lincolnshire. I can identify no children.

—> She also could be Dorothy. She could also be a widow or divorcee or another Dorothy M Stedman. I cannot identify when she died or any details about David. They might still be alive.

16. Dorothy M Corke (1936-) married Ivan George Stedman (1934-1993) in 1959 in Kent. They had children (born in 1965 and 1970) proving Corke as her maiden name.

—> She could be still living, she died after 2006, or remarried.

17. Dorothy M Hannah married John H Stedman in 1965 in Kent. No identified children.

—> I was not able to identify who either Dorothy or John were.

After all of this, I do have about 20 more Dorothy M Stedmans who are fully identified; all of them are in the tree. And I still have not solved what happened to Dorothy, the daughter of Dr. Thomas Bernard Stedman!

I have not decided what the reward will be for anyone who solves one of these puzzles.


Feb 132013

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