Bea Steadman and Her Flying Machines

Bernice “Bea” “B” Steadman (1925-2015) was one of the pioneer American Women Pilots and in 1961 was selected as one of 13 finalists to become an astronaut.

Bernice "Bea" Steadman

Her obituary notes that she is one of a small handful of women honored to have been inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame in October of 2002 and the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003.

This famous Steadman was born on Michigan’s upper peninsula as Beatrice Trimble. She married Robert Anthony Steadman in 1959 and had two sons with him.

As this site is a study of the Steadman family, I think it is appropriate to talk about woman who marry into the Steadman family. Yet, as it is the study of Steadmans, I need to also talk about her husband’s Steadman family.

Robert Anthony Steadman was born in Mitchell, Davison county, South Dakota, to Dr. Robert Foster Steadman and Calista Anne Lewis. Dr. Steadman was a Professor of Geology and taught at many colleges around the US.

His grandfather, also named Robert Anthony Steadman (1865-1955) was born in Ontario, Canada to Maurice Steadman (1834-1910) and Elizabeth Jane Carson (1837-1911) and moved with his family about 1870 to Dakota Territory.

Maurice was the eldest child of George Steadman Jr. (c. 1798-1881) and his third wife Geneva Wilton. George was the original immigrant from England to America and arrived in Ontario about 1830.

George’s father and ancestors came from Tenterden and environs in Kent, England, and used the surname Stedman in England.

Click here to see the genealogy of Maurice Steadman and his ancestors and descendants.

And please remember Bea Steadman and her flying machines for reminding me to tell both her story and the story of this large Steadman family that she married into.

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