At our recent Guild Pub Crawl, Myko did a search of some Italian records and surprisingly found a record of a Steadman in Italy. Of course, I had a solemn duty to my Guild registration of the Steadman surname to figure out who this Barbara Jean is. As I have no experience at all with Italian records, I felt I was in for a long and ultimately unsuccessful search.
In fact, I tracked her down in minutes.
My first search was to use the all purpose Google machine where I uncovered as one of the first hits a copy of her CV. She is a lawyer working in Italy who is married to an Italian citizen. The CV gave her exact birth date and that she was born in California.
I immediately went to Ancestry and found her California birth index record which gave her mother’s maiden name. For good measure, I also found the birth index record for an older sister. I could not find a California marriage record for her parents, but I was able to find a Virginia divorce record record for a couple I assumed were her parents that gave their marriage date and place in Ohio. I was able to find a marriage record for Barbara Jean Steadman in Virginia to a man with a very Italian sounding name, but record had few details. However, I also found marriage record for her sister that did identify the same parents as were on the divorce record.
Her father Kenneth Steadman was listed on the divorce record as being born in Illinois in 1941 which is a bit too late for available Illinois birth records or for census… We are only 6 months away from the 1950 census being released!
So now I needed to look for some Steadman couple living in Illinois in 1940 census that might have had a some children or an obituary for a Steadman that identified as having a son Kenneth. I could not find a census record, but I found a 1992 obituary on Newspapers.com (actually, Ancestry found it…) for an Albert L. Steadman who had been born in 1908 in Minnesota and had lived in Chicago area before moving to Arkansas after he retired. It noted that he had a son Kenneth living in Washington DC which was where Barbara Jean’s father had been living then. It also noted that he had a son William living in Wilmington, North Carolina.
When I went to the 1910/1920/1930/1940 census, I saw no sign of Albert. The obit noted that he had married a Lillian Stuck in 1932. She died in 1992 in Wilmington, NC; I assume she was living with or near her son William. Ancestry’s hinting pulled up for Lillian, a 1942 World War II Draft record for an Albert Leonard Stryjewski where the Stryjewski had been crossed out and replaced by Steadman! The birth date was identical to what I had had for Albert and noted he had been born in Minneapolis. Evidently, Albert changed his name to Steadman after the 1940 census. As I have not found Kenneth’s birth record, I do not know if his birth name was Steadman or Stryjewski.
Now I needed to track down Albert’s family. Based on the 1920 and 1930 census (I have not found them in 1910; they may have been moving from Minneapolis to Chicago at the time…) His parents John/Jan Stryjewski and Maryjanne Kremski had about 9 children with Albert as the first. They came from Poland in 1904 and 1906 and seem to have married in America. A quick search of all of the children shows that only Albert changed his name to Steadman. Most of the other children retained their original name. The family were Roman Catholic.
So we now know that Barbara Jean is a Steadman by name change and is of Polish descent and is now married to an Italian and living and working as a lawyer in Italy.