The Family Tree

The Steadman family of Cambridgeshire

The Steadman family of Cambridgeshire, England, lived in Soham and Ely during the 19th Century.

The earliest Steadman ancestor found was James Steadman - a Blacksmith, who is noted in 1830 as living at Babylon, the small 'island' opposite Waterside, just across the Great Ouse at Ely.

James married Elizabeth Murfitt, also of Ely and together they had at least five children. Sadly, only three of them make it past the age of eleven and appear on the 1841 Census.

The Steadman family are the source of one of the most unusual names to feature in the family - "Vine". Where this would normally be taken as the surname of a mother, so far, it has been used as a first name, with Vine Steadman (a witness at James and Elizabeth's marriage in 1829), who may have been a sister to James. The name then appears amongst their children with another unusual name of "Crow" to make "Vinecrow Steadman". Nearly all of James and Elizabeth's children have the name of Crow - and again there is no obvious maternal origin for the name.

"Vine" spreads down the generations with William Steadman fathering an illegitimate daughter with Susan Taylor of Cutter's Yard, Ely. The daughter, born in Bull Lane in 1852, was given the name "Sabina Steadman Taylor", using the middlename to name the father on the birth certificate. Within four years the parents had married and Sabina was appearing as "Vina" or "Nina" but mainly as "Vine".

"Vine" eventually gets handed down to Vine Elizabeth Newell (née Moden), the Great Great Grand-daughter of James and Elizabeth.