Current Results of the Stidham* Family DNA Study
By Richard L. Steadham, Stidham* Family DNA Study Group Administrator
The original goal of this project was to determine if a genetic fingerprint, or haplotype, of Timen Stiddems descendants could be scientifically established. This goal has been achieved. As the study has progressed, it has taken on the larger goal of gathering the results in one study of ALL people who spell their surnames variously as: Stidham, Stedham, Steadham, Stedman, Steadman, Steedman, etc. It is well known that many of these spellings have been used interchangibly by some families for many generations. Even today, my own surname Steadham is consistantly misspelled as Steadman by others.
Timens descendants for the first eight generations in America are well documented in the book, The Descendants of Dr. Timothy Stidham, by Jack Stidham of Morristown, Tennessee. Most participants in this study have good documentation showing their line of descent from one of Timens five sons. Some carry one of the spelling variations of the surname, but are undocumented as to where they fit into the family tree, if at all (participants #225 and #226). At present, one participant (#1117) is a known descendant of the Scottish immigrant John Steedman (more on him below) but spells his surname as Stidham. Another participant (#16431) is also a descendant (on paper) of John Steedman, but has now been found to actually descend from Timen Stiddem. He spells his surname as Steadman. The following conclusions are based on the family constructions found in Jacks book and the place where each participant falls within those family groups.
DNA analysis of the participants to date show five distinct haplotypes, divided into the five sections found in the chart below. They are:
1. Timen Stiddem
2. Samuel Stidham
3. Unknown Stidham
4. Unknown Stidham
5. John Steedman
6. John or Thomas Stedman
7. Benjamin Stedman
8. UK Steadman
Notes for Reading the Chart
DYS values highlighted in yellow are single-step mutations from the ancestral haplotype. DYS values highlighted in blue are two-step mutations from the ancestral haplotype.
According to Family Tree DNA, DYS markers in red have been shown to mutate faster than others.
DYS19 is the same as DYS394 in other studies using different labs.
Some participants have opted only for the 12-marker test. For this reason, the remaining 13 marker fields for their results are blank.
John Steedman and the Stidham Family Connection
John Steedman (b. 1715, County Fife, Scotland) took part in the Jacobite Uprising, and fled Scotland for Ireland after the Battle of Culloden in 1745. About 1758, John immigrated from Ireland to New York, then moved to Charleston, South Carolina. In 1769, John moved to present Fairfield Co., South Carolina.
In South Carolina, some of Steedman's children intermarried with the family of Zachariah Stidham Jr., a 2nd-great-grandson of Timen Stiddem. Because of this close family association, and the confusion and careless intermixing of surnames, many descendants of John Steedman today spell their surnames as Stidham, Steadham, Stedham, etc, as well as Steedman and Steadman. Inclusion of the Steedman haplotype in this study provides a means by which individuals can scientifically establish which family they belong to genetically, no matter how they currently spell their surname, nor what printed genealogy they may find themselves.
New England Stedman and Steadman Families
Unlike many families in America, the Stedmans cannot trace their ancestry to a single immigrant ancestor. There were three documented families in Massachusetts and one in Connecticut that had arrived by 1650. By the time of the Revolutionary War, many other Stedman and Steadman families had also arrived from the British Isles. Participation in this study by documented descendants of these various lines will prove if they all descend from a common Stedman ancestor or not, and also, if they are related to the Scottish Steedman families.
How to Participate in the Study
The Stidham* Family DNA Study is an ongoing project. We currently have other participants submitting their buccal cell samples to Family Tree DNA for analysis. As new results become available to us, they will be posted to this site. Any male bearing one of the many spelling variations of the family surname below is encouraged to participate, including known Steedman descendants.
Please contact Richard L. Steadham, for more information, or go directly to the Stidham Surname Project Join page on the web site of Family Tree DNA at:
Note: Stidham* followed by an asterisk (*) refers to all spelling variations of the surname, as that is the most commonly used version today.
Richard L. Steadham's email is:
Please note that you'll have to type the above address into your email program's new message "To" box, as the image is not a "mail to" link, nor html type. This is done to try and reduce the ridiculous amount of spam I receive in my email inbox. Spammers use Web crawlers to scan the Internet and collect all links with the "@" sign included within html type.
List of Qualifying Surnames
We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Richard L. Steadham