I have just heard from a Steeden descendant, fifth cousin (I think) to my daughter. She was enormously excited to be able to trace the family name back to 17th century Northamptonshire, using information from the Tingewick family group sheets.
Ah, but can she?
Certainly, I am confident that ALL the Steeden folk from Tingewick are descended from one couple – James Steeden and Sara Markham who married on Christmas Day 1770.
Sara was Tingewick born and bred – baptised in October 1741, her parents were Thomas Markham (1716-1769) and Catherine Poulton (bur. 1752 at Tingewick). The Markham line is reasonably clear, linking back four more generations to the start of parish registers and beyond in Tingewick.
James Steeden, though, was an incomer. According to the marriage register, he was from Charleton … but the next question is, which one? There are three obvious candidates – two in Oxfordshire and one in Northamptonshire – but my money is on the one in Northamptonshire. It’s now combined with Newbottle (which used to be the dominant hamlet) two miles east of Kings Sutton. When I visited the graveyard some years ago I found – not Steeden graves – but Markham ones in quantity. My main reason for linking the family to Chartlton/Newbottle, though, was finding (pre-internet search) what appeared to be plausible entries for the family on the old fiche-based IGI.
Do I still think the family came from Newbottle? I’m not sure. The old IGI entries I found have not been carried through to the modern, cleaned-up online FamilySearch IGI. But that DOES have a plausible baptism in 1745 in Bloxham – less than ten miles to the west of Charlton/Newbottle – and still with William as the father’s name. And I have found references in the London Gazette to the bankruptcy of a Daniel Steeden in 1845. He was a cattle dealer … the same trade followed by the Steeden families in Tingewick.
Conclusive? No, but a straw in the wind.