The surname Stedman is of Saxon origin. It initially was adopted from two principal sources, namely:
|(1)||The name of the town, city, estate, or domain where the adopter lived. For example: Reginaldus de Steddanham, meaning Reginaldus of Steddanham. In 1259 his wife Christiana made a settlement relating to property in County Sussex, England.-(Excerpta Roterlis Finium in Tuni Londonensis-Asser~,atis Henrico Tertio Rege, Vol. II, page 291.) See later.|
|(2)||The occupation in which the adopter was engaged. For example:--John le Stedman, meaning John the sted/stead man (a farmer, or a yeoman who owned a small farm). In 1284 he delivered wool to the collectors of wool in County Gloucester, England.--(Ancient Deeds, Patent Rolls, or State Papers of England.)|
|(Note the words de and le for differentiation.)|
Surnames, as such, were not in use in England before William the Conqueror became the king of that country in 1066. Soon after ascending the throne he ordered the adoption of surnames by all members of the upper classes of people. The adoption of surnames by members of the lower classes was not permitted until some centuries later. The purpose of this writer is to present some history of a Stedman family which apparently derived its name from source number 1.
The derivation of Stedman from Steddanham seems to be far-fetched, but in this case Stedman belongs to that class of surnames which underwent similar changes, such as:-Deadman from Debenham; Parman from Parnham; Putman from Puttenham; Swetman from Swettemhan; Highman from Highnam; Downman from Downham; Lyman from Lineham.-(Bardeley-Dictionary of English and Welsh Names, page 1 1.) The cited author states:--"It is interesting to observe the various meanings of man as a suffix -- man for nham in local surnames. Indeed it is a fairly large class. Instances will be found scattered over the country." Evidently the change in the suffix grew out of early confusion of the Anglo-Saxon (n)ham (meaning home) with the Norman-French homme (meaning man), which words have a very similar sound when quickly pronounced. This is illustrated by the English Pridham which was confused with the French prudhomme (a wise or prudent man) and became Pridman; and by the English Bonham which was confused with the French bonhomme (meaning a good man) and became Goodman. In all of the original forms mentioned herein the letter h was silent. Steddanham, for example, was pronounced as though the spelling were Stednam. Thus it was natural and expected that Steddanham became Stedman.
References for comparison:
English Surnames.--By Lower.
Family Names.-By Gentry.
Surnames of the United Kingdom.--By Harrison.
Surnames: Their Origin and Nationality.--By McKenna.
The Names We Bear.--By Long.
The place name Steddanham, from which the surname Stedman evolved, is basically composed of the elements Stedda (name of a Saxon thane/baron) and ham (home; an estate inclusive of land and a village, together with a manor and its appurtenant buildings). By combining these two elements into one word as the place name, and as a paradigm in the declension of Anglo-Saxon nouns, in the singular genitive (possessive) case Stedda became Steddan (as the stem word denoting possession) and ham was added to denote the thing possessed. Thus, in the Anglo-Saxon language of the time, Stedda's ham became the place name Steddanham.--(1915 edition of Webster's Neeu International Dictionary, p. XXVII, section 64, published by G. and C. Merriam Company.) Some history of Steddanham and its evident relation to the family of Stedman is recited in the following paragraphs.
Prior to the year 960 Steddanham, situated in the present County Sussex, England, was possessed by the Saxon noble Wulfric. At some time during the short and troubled reigns (940-960) of four English kings,--Edmund, Edred, Edwy, and Edgar I,--Wulfric forfeited the estate, apparently because of having displeased one or another of the said kings. However, in 960 it was restored to Wulfric by charter from King Edgar I.
At some time prior to 1182 de Steddanham, an English nobleman, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He remained there, established a domain for himself - which he called the "Duchy (Dukedom) of Arabia," and assumed the title "Duke of Arabia." He apparently was a man of hasty and driving action, so much so that he became known by the nickname "Calcarba, or Calcarbus" (derived from the word calcar, meaning a spur). Hence "Calcarba, or Calcarbus, Duke of Arabia." During the early crusades to the Holy Land, "the moment a city was captured by the crusaders a dispute arose as to whom it should belong. At length the different leaders separated, each to fight on his own account and to gain a kingdom for himself."-- (S.J. Goodrich--History of All Nations, Vol. II, page 863.) Another author states that some of the crusaders and pilgrims carved out a territory over which they set up themselves with assumed titles of nobility. In the year 1182 Saladin (Sultan of Egypt and Syria), an opposer of the crusades, began conquest of the Holy Land to recover it to the Saracens (Mohammedans). Calcarba's domain lay in the path of Saladin's operations, and he and his children Uohn and Clarissa) fled towards Jerusalem. Calcarba died before reaching Jerusalem, and Uohn went on to the city. Nothing further is said concerning Clarissa.
John de Steddanham, son of Calcarba, Duke of Arabia, remained in Jerusalem and assisted in its defense until it fell to Saladin in 1187. He evidently then escaped to other parts of the Holy Land and assisted in the struggle against the Saracens. In 1191 he joined the forces of King Richard I (the Lion-hearted),--then on the third crusade to the Holy Land,-and assisted in the capture of Acre from the Saracens under Saladin. It evidently was here that his surname underwent the change from de Steddanham to Stedman. He accompanied Richard on his successful campaign towards Jerusalem where, after a siege of the city, a truce was concluded with Saladin in 1192. The truce provided that the pilgrims should be free to visit the Holy Sepulchre, and that a designated part of the seacoast of the Holy Land should belong to the crusaders. John Stedman, "being a gallant person and greatly esteemed by the King," was made a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre and had for arms:-"A cross fleury Vert in a field Or." The order of Knight of the Holy Sepulchre was founded in 1099 for the guardianship of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, and for the protection of pilgrims. The members were chosen only from pilgrims who were of the nobility. This fact attests the nobility of the family of which John was a member, and further attests that Calcarba and his children originally were pilgrims in the Holy Land.--(Webster's New International Dictionary, page 1515, edition of 1915,--0rder of the Holy Sepulchre.)
Soon after signing the truce with Saladin, in 1192 King Richard left the Holy Land on a ship bound for England, and John Stedman was among those who accompanied him. The ship was wrecked in the Adriatic Sea near the coast of Italy; and Richard, together with his companions, undertook to travel afoot from Italy to the west coast of the European continent nearest to England. While passing through Germany he and his companions were seized and held as prisoners, because of an offense which Richard previously had given to the Duke of Austria. In 1194 the prisoners were ransomed, and they proceeded on their way to England.
According to a tradition published in the Church Times (issue of 16 February 1906) of the Angle-Catholic Church of England, John Stedman brought with him to England a chalice made from a portion of wood cut from the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Another story is that this chalice is the Holy Grail, or cup, from which Jesus and his disciples drank at the time of the last supper in Jerusalem. The chalice later became known variously as "The Tregaron Healing CUP,)( "The Strata Florida Cup," and "The Nant Eos Healing Cup." Numerous persons claimed to have been healed of their diseases by drinking water from the cup. After many generations its possession passed from the Stedman family of Strata Florida, in Wales, and in 1933 it could be seen as a relic in an old-world mansion in the Welsh village of Nanteos.--(The Daily Express, issue of 23 January 1933). The reader hereof must make his or her own decision regarding the truth of the claims for this chalice or cup.
After John Stedman (a young and unmarried man) arrived in England as one of King Richard's knights, the king gave to him a gift of land and the gift of a wife, which latter was in accordance with the custom of kings to give wives to their unmarried knights.
The land given to John Stedman was situated in County Kent, England. It evidently was a stead (or estate) which consisted of woodlands, farmlands, and buildings pertaining thereto. In the Scotch and dialectal English languages the word stead was written such ways as:- sted, stede, steed, steid, and stid. John, being thus settled on a stead/sted, became known as John le Stedman. Subsequent spellings of the surname were:-le Stedeman, Stedman, Steadman, Steedman, Steidman, or Stidman, and sometimes Studman, according to fancy of the bearer.
On 9 November 1931 the late Mr. Thomas Steedman of the Cottage, Fruix, Kinross, Scotland, who then was 81 years of age, stated the following in a letter addressed to this writer. "There is no rule for spelling names. Some people change the spelling of theirs because they think it too common; others because of a fad; the great majority because they are asses. There was an excuse for those in the 14th to 17th century. The bulk of them (at least in Scotland) could neither write nor read.That is the only excuse we can offer, bur, fortunately, things are altogether different now. My counsin has changed to Stedman, for what reason no one knows. The family spelt it with two ee's for generations."
The wife given to John Stedman was loan, daughter and heir of Sir John Tatteshall, Knight, who was a brother of Lord Robert Tatteshall and a descendant of Eudo (came to England with William the Conqueror and was granted the estate of Tatteshall in County Lincoln). Joan bore arms --"Chequy Or and Gules, a chief Ermine," which John Stedman impaled on the left half of the shield of his own arms. The number of children born to John and Joan is not known to this writer. However, the blazonry on the banner of one of their sons indicates that he was their seventh son. A photograph of this banner was obtained by the Reverend Melvin Lee Steadman, Jr., from a source in England. It shows the following imprinted upon the banner.
A shield, topped with an open-face knight's helmet (covered with mantling) and a lion rampant as the crest, all within an oval surrounded by seventeen couped leaves. The shield is quartered. The first and third quarters depcit the arms (a cross fleury Vert in a field Or) of Sir John Stedman, the second quarter depicts the arms of his wife, and the fourth quarter depicts three roses as a mark of cadency indicating the seventh son of his parents. Two leafy branches beneath the shield, and the mantling on the helmet, are for ornamentation.
Marks of cadency are borne only during the lifetime of the son's father; therefore, it is evident that Sir John Stedman was living when the above-mentioned banner was made. The right to bear banners is confined to bannerets and persons of higher rank.--(8urke--The Generul Armorv, pp. XI, XX, and XXXIII.) The said banner perhaps was used in one of the crusades or wars occurring during the years 1228-1272.
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 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 the compiler of the records contained in this book have a common ancester in James Stedman/Steadman (1598-1686) of "Little Seggie," County Kinross,
Scotland.--See PART THREE, Gen. 18.)--In 1369 payments totaling XXIII L (23 pounds) were made to Patricius Steidman (or Patricis Stedman) of Edinburgh, this being done by mandate of King David 11 of Scorland to Simon de Prestoun, Vice-Count of Edinburgh.-(Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1359-1379). In Stoddarr's Scottish Arms (Kings' and Nobility's Arms, 1370-1678), his name is shown as "Patrick Stedman."
After a close study of English and Scottish records, it appears to this writer that the line of descent from Calcarba, or Calcarbus, to Patricius Stedman probably is as follows:
|1.||Calcarba de Steddanham (ca. 1146-1187) as heretofore mentioned.|
|2.||John Stedman-le Stedeman (ca. 1171- ) as heretofore mentioned.|
|3.||John le Stedeman (ca. 1196- ), 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- ) of County Derby, England. A
case between Henry de Mapletone and Roger le Stedeman of Easeborne (Ashborne)
and klice his wife, deforcients, was heard at Nottingham during the court
term of 71 March-21 April 1252. The case involved real estate situated
in the viIlage of Dale and claimed by both the plaintiff and the deforcients.-
(JournaI of Derbyshire Archaeology and Natural History Society, Vol. 8).
|5.||John le Stedeman (ca. 1246- ) 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 re Stedcman. The said assault and spoilage occurred during the period when the Scots were struggling to maintain their independence from the rule of Edward 1, 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- ) 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- ) persumably 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 Prie3i 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- ) as heretofore mentioned.|
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.