The Ballad of Rose Mary Robberts

One of the ways that I try to resolve problems is to share what I know with others in an attempt to organize my thinking and try to find solutions. Solutions that I hope do not require spending money on certificates and the like. I think Rose Mary Robberts is going to cost me some money because I cannot identify her parents.

You may wonder why Rose Mary is being discussed in a Stedman context. From what I have learned so far, her mother was a Stedman; she lived with another Stedman family as she grew up and according to the census, she was a niece; and she married a Stedman who I cannot find her being related to.

Let me lay out the details as I have them. First, her birth was registered at Islington RD in Q3 1857 (Vol. 1b, p. 167). According to the GRO Index, her mother’s maiden name was Stedman.

So far, I have not found a baptism for her, a listing for her in the 1861 census, or a Roberts/Robberts – Stedman marriage to identify her parents. Further, according to the GRO index data, she was an only child.

My next sighting for her is in the 1871 census for Godalming, Surrey, (District 5, p. 5, at Castlehall) where she, as Rose Stedman, is living with George Stedman and his wife Jane (Edgeler) as their niece.

She next appears, as Rose Mary Stedman, Niece, with George and Jane in the 1881 census in Godalming. (District 3b, p. 18 ), along with a Lodger Alfred W. Stedman of Windlesham, Surrey.

Rose Mary and Alfred marry in June of 1881 in Farncombe, Surrey. He is listed as a son of an Abraham Stedman and she, again as Rose Mary Robberts, was a daughter of William Robert Robberts, Deceased. Witnesses were George Stedman and Eliza Stedman. I presume George was her Uncle and Eliza was Alfred’s sister.

The next sighting I have is from the 1891 census of Farncombe (District 3-Godalming, p. 35 at the Royal Oak on Farncombe Street). Her uncle George had died in 1885 and Jane was a widow and Rose and Alfred had two children.

Let me discuss Alfred William Stedman’s ancestry as it has its own brickwall. His parents were Abraham Toft Stedman (1833-1907) and Mary Ann Tester (c. 1822-?) who were married in 1854 in Bermondsey. Abraham was baptized 4 September 1833 in Godalming as a son of John and Mary Stedman. John Stedman and Mary Terry were married 5 March 1823 in Hascombe, Surrey. I believe John is the John Stedman who was buried 15 January 1847 in Wotton, Surrey at age 43. I have not been able to identify who John’s parents might have been nor find him in the 1841 census. I have not been able to prove a record to identify Mary after Abraham’s baptism in 1833.

Let me now discuss the George Stedman family as I presume that if Rose Mary is a niece, she is related to his family. George was baptized 29 April 1821 in Godalming to James Stedman and wife Elizabeth Boxall. He was the last child as James was buried 31 August 1821 in Godalming. Of course, Elizabeth might have remarried and had additional children. James was baptized at Bramley, Surrey, on 20 July 1783 as a son of John Stedman and Elizabeth (Fawkner). James and Elizabeth married 14 January 1806 in Bramley. They had the following children:

  • Sarah, 1806 – no information on death or marriage provable.
  • James, 1808 – no information on death or marriage
  • Hannah, 1810 – married 1835 Frederick Colpus and had many children.
  • Henry, 1813 – transported to Australia 1830 and had large family there
  • Mary, 1815 – died 1835 unmarried.
  • Elizabeth, 1817 – married 1840 James Russell and had many children
  • John, c. 1819 – , unmarried as of 1861. Baptism not found.
  • George, 1819 – Twin, died young
  • William, 1819 – Twin, unmarried as of 1851.
  • George, 1821 – married 1844 Jane Edgeler, no surviving children.

Obviously, I am missing something. Maybe if I get Rose Mary’s birth certificate and find out who her parents were, I will be able to solve this mystery.

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