This puzzle all started with an obituary. And the pieces still do not fit together.

In searching the Obituary archives of the East Anglian Daily Times recently, I came across this curious obituary.


Originally printed on July 11, 2017 in the East Anglian Daily Times.

STEDMAN–CAVENDISH Una Melanie aged 96 years of Wickham Market. Passed away on June 20, 2017. Will be sadly missed by all family and friends. Funeral Service at Wickham Market Church on Monday, July 24, at 11.15 a.m. followed by Private Cremation. Flowers welcome or donations, if desired, for Dogs Trust may be sent c/o. Moore Bros, 5 Woodbridge Road, Framlingham. IP13 9LL.

My goal in finding this was to be able to add her to my Stedman study with, of course, her ancestors. I was actually able to connect her to a well known existing family: she is a direct descendant of Nathaniel Stedman of Sevenoaks through his son Nathaniel Stedman Jr. But then it gets confusing.

She was a daughter of Naomi Daisy Stedman (1889-1976) and Arthur Preston (1885-1959) who married in Fulham RD in 1915. Thay had three children: Naomi Audrey (Preston) Cooke (1919-1999), Una, and Stanley Arthur Preston (b. Q3 1922) and can be seen on FreeBMD and the 1939 UK Register listing from Hounslow.

Arthur Preston Family in 1939 UK Register in Hounslow

You see that Stanley has not reached the 100 year mark to be displayed, but I can find no provable record of him after his birth registration. You also see that Naomi and Una are listed as later having the surname Stedman-Cavendish.

When I do a record search for people with the Stedman-Cavendish surname, the only people I find are Naomi, Una and a Malcolm Arthur Nigel Stedman-Cavendish (1922-1976). I can find no birth record for Malcolm and no English marriage record for Naomi after Arthur died nor one for Una. I should mention that Malcolm was born in August 1922 and Stanley’s birth was registered in Q3 1922. And Malcolm and Naomi were living together in Wembley at the time of their deaths about 1976.

What I think happened is that sometime after 1939 Register, maybe after Arthur died, Naomi, Una, and Stanley changed their surname to Stedman-Cavedish. I cannot find a London Gazette mention of the change by deed poll. I don’t think Una and Stanley ever married and I think Stanley Arthur changed his given names to Malcolm Arthur Nigel.

I have no idea where Stedman-Cavendish comes from… I have not found any of Naomi’s ancestors with surname Cavendish.

And, of course, I cannot prove this… yet.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.