As many of you know, one of the top ways I build the study is based on inquiries from the public, site subscribers, and from members of the Stedman Family Organization Facebook group.
I look to each of you to share with me when I may be missing someone in my trees who is important to you or who may have incomplete or erroneous data in the tree. (No, I am not perfect… )
This morning, one of you asked why I had not included Ray Stedman, a 20th century evangelical Christian pastor and author who is included in Wikipedia.
I had not included him because for many of the lineages, I originally stopped around 1900 unless I had some family contact to drive a line into the 20th century. And, as I expected, it did not take me long to add him to a lineage I had documented. I had his father in my tree: Charles Leslie Stedman, born in Minnesota in 1888.
So, I quickly updated my tree to include Ray and his two brothers. But then I looked to see what lineage Ray had and was almost horrified to learn that I had not been able to identify the ancestry of his great grandfather Chester Albert Stedman (1918-1897). All I knew was that Chester was born in Massachusetts. But I had not updated this family for over 10 years. I thought maybe some new information had surfaced.
In doing some checks with a few sources, I discovered a clue that fits with other data I have, but – I will admit – needs more rigorous analysis… Chester was born in one of my favorite Stedman places – Tyringham, Massachusetts. He was a son of John Stedman and Amelia Deitz of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and grandson of William Stedman and Hannah Scranton of South Kingstown and Tyringham.
William’s son John was previously thought by me to have died young. But what new evidence is showing is that he did come to Tyringham with his father and then went to Madison county, New York, where he did die young as he is not mentioned in his mother’s 1839 estate. I assume his widow remarried which has helped to obscure his history.
Chester has hundreds of descendants who now have a possible roadmap to understanding their ancestry.