Family History Research
Welcome to our Family History Research Center. Through this center we are researching and publishing our findings on a number of families that are interesting to us because of the cultural and genetic contribution that they have made to us and our children.
As with any genealogical project, this is a work in progress. We are continually adding more to our knowledge base so that we can share it freely with our cousins, near and far.
We invite you to extract what you need to make your own story more complete. We ask you to share with us what you learn so that we can in turn pass it along to others.
We are not professional genealogists. We approach this hobby as scientists and historians, searching for answers. We try to provide a solid standard of proof in all of our findings, but we do compile what we learn from a lot of sources, not all of which have provided complete proof. So, unintentionally, we do report items that are not true. If you have data to improve, enhance, or correct what you find here, please share it with us so that we can share it with others.
We have segmented out research into our major family lines. Not all of our data is available yet on-line. If you are interested in something that is not here, please write.
John Bulmer Lisle and Carolyn Miethe Lisle
John's Paternal Lines:
This is a study of the descendants of John Lisle and Rachel Irwin. John Lisle was born about 1758 in Ireland of Scottish ancestry. According to family legend, he and an older brother emigrated to America. Years of research have yet to identify his brother or his ancestry. Our first definite placement of him is in 1785 in Pennsylvania when his first son Robert is born. His second son James was born in Kentucky in 1788. John is back in Pennsylvania in 1790. By circumstantial evidence, I believe that his father was named Robert and that Rachel's father was named James. There was a James Irwin living in the same area as John Lisle in Pennsylvania in 1790. He went back to Kentucky and then in 1797 he joined up with Lucas Sullivant and became one of the first settlers of what is now Franklin County, Ohio. He first lived in Franklinton, then bought land in Clinton township, across the river from what is now Ohio State University in Columbus. He also bought land in Hamilton township which his sons Robert and James developed. He had eight known children. He died in December 1808, and his will was one of the first recorded in Franklin County.
The Lisle family knowledge base is scheduled to be released during 2000.
The family of John's daughter Rachel who married William Sackett has been released. William and Rachel Sackett moved to Putnam County, Ohio in the 1830s. Two of their daughters married into the Agner family that also moved to Putnam County at a similar time from Fairfield County, Ohio. A Sackett family knowledge base is currently available.
This study will also include the Gates Family of Muskingum County, Ohio, whose immigrant ancestor was Victor Gates. Other associated families are Wigton, Young, Postel, McWilliams, Gulliford (or Guilford), and many others.
This is a study of the descendants of John Davidson and his wife Jane who came to America in the late 1730s from Ireland. They were of Scottish ancestry. This research includes a study of his brother George and other Davidsons that can be linked to this Davidson family. This study also includes other the descendants of other direct ancestors, such as the Reese family, the Dickey family, the Hall family, the Norton family, the Beall family, the Charles family, the Boatright family, and others.
John Davidson was born before 1709 in Ireland. He married and had several children there and brought them to America about 1737. He arrived in Philadelphia; his older brother George may have already been living there. Shortly thereafter, he and his family bought land in Beverly Manor in Orange County, Virginia. This area was split off as part of Augusta County shortly afterwards. He lived in nearby a Samuel Davidson who seems to have been related; however, we cannot now determine how they were connected. About 1747 he was granted land in what is now Iredell County, North Carolina. Shortly after their move, he died.
His son George Davidson, born 1728, my 5g-grandfather, married Catharine Penelope Reese who was of Welsh ancestry. His son William Davidson, my 4g-grandfather, married Mary Dickey who was of Scottish ancestry. His son Abner migrated to Bedford County, Tennessee, in the late 1820s. After the Civil War, his grandson went to San Antonio, Texas.
A major study is continuing of the Hall family or Iredell County. James Hall, Sr. came to Statesville, in what is now Iredell County about 1752. He came to America from Ireland, also of Scottish ancestry. He married Prudence Roddy in Pennsylvania. Among his children was the Rev. James Hall, Jr. who was a famous and influential Presbyterian minister and a Captain in the Revolutionary War. His brother Thomas, my ancestor, married Elizabeth Sloan, daughter of Fergus Sloan. Their daughter Prudence married William Stevenson, who was a great uncle to Adlai Stevenson who was Vice President of the United States. My great-great-great grandfather Abner Davidson married Elizabeth Hall, daughter of Fergus Hall and grand daughter of Thomas Hall.
The Norton family came from Maryland before arriving in North Carolina and Tennessee. My great-great grandfather John Davidson married Artemesia Marcia Ann Norton, daughter of Dr. William Norton and Marcia Ann Beall. Marcia Ann is descended from the immigrant Alexander Beall of Scotland.
My great-grandfather Thomas Ogburn Davidson married Laura Charles. Her grandfather William T. Charles married Elizabeth Boatright. William's parents Isaac Newton Charles and Jane Scrimshire were among the Austin 300 - original anglo settlers of Texas in the 1820s. Elizabeth's grandparents Thomas Boatright and Amy Rushing and parents Friend Boatright and Lydia Sparks were among the very first of the Austin 300, arriving on December 31st 1821.
Lest anyone think that this is a pure Scottish or English family, Laura Charles' mother was Anna Persky who was born in Germany. Her mother was a Schroeder. They lived in the area around New Ulm in Texas and seem to be almost impossible to trace!
John's Maternal Lines:
My maternal grandfather came to America in 1909 from Skelton, Yorkshire, England. The Ridsdale family came probably came from Northumberland and drifted south to Yorkshire through Durham. They came to the Guisborough area about 1800.
My great-great grandfather William Ridsdale married Elizabeth Bulmer. The Bulmers were a large family in the area. Elizabeth was descended from a Sir Robert Bulmer.
This knowledge base is expected to be released in 2000.
My maternal grandmother was of Swedish ancestry. Her parents came to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1880 from Värmland, Sweden. The family moved from Worcester to East McKeesport, Pennsylvania, about 1895.
The knowledge base on this family is expected to be released in 2000.
Carolyn's Paternal Lines:
Gerhard Miethe came to America in the 1870s from Germany. As a German Catholic, he became affiliated with the German Catholic Church in Boston, Holy Trinity Church, on Shawmut Avenue. He married Clara Caroline Wellbrock. His son Francis Ferdinand Miethe married Bertha Ochs, daughter of Andrew Ochs and Bertha Kraft.
Researching this family in Boston is to research the families of Holy Trinity. Other allied families are Wessling, Kamp, and Grueter.
Carolyn's Maternal Lines:
This has become a major single name study of this family. Currently, the research has focused on the family in America; however, research is beginning in England and Scotland.
Most Stedman families in America can assume that their ancestry could be traced back to a John Stedeman who was a Knight in the Crusades. He fought with King Richard the Lionhart in the Holyland and was imprisoned with King Richard in Austria on their return to England. For his service, King Richard awarded him a manor in Kent. Some of the family migrated north over the next few generations and whilst in York some sided with Robert the Bruce against the English and had to migrate to Scotland, founding the Scottish Branch of the family. When a principal line daughtered out, the heir married a Barton, and he took the name of Stedman. Amongst the Scottish family, you will see the name spelled Steedman.
The Scottish family has a long history as mariners. I believe that some of them lived in Holland at periods of time. One was Capt. John Gabriel Stedman of the Scottish Dragoons. He became a famous explorer and author. In the late 1700s he spent several years exploring in South America and wrote a book about it.
Carolyn's mother was a Steadman. Her father came to Boston about the turn of the century from Nova Scotia. Research on this family discovered that the family came to Nova Scotia about 1760 from South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Allied families in Nova Scotia include Harris, Hicks, Condon, Guest, Gaetz/Gates, Wentzell. The study has traced many of the Steadman family from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick and back to the United States.
The spelling of the Stedman name seems to vary between Stedman and Steadman and Steedman, based on the family. The Nova Scotia family seems to have used Steadman; however, most of the Rhode Island family used the Stedman spelling. The Rhode Island family is descended from a mariner Thomas Stedman who is first reported in Connecticut in the late 1640s. He had two known sons, one who settled in New London, the other who settled in Hartford. Descendants of both families have spread throughout the country. Thomas Stedman is thought to be Scottish; however his ancestry has not been traced. As the Scottish family is known to have a sailing background, this is a reasonable theory.
New England had several other early Stedman families. The earliest known was Isaac Stedman who was from Biddenden in Kent. He and his family came to Scituate, Massachusetts in 1636. He later removed to Muddy River which is now known as Brookline, Massachusetts. His descendants spread throughout New England in the colonial era. Among his descendants were Gen. Griffin Alexander Stedman of Connecticut who died in the Civil War and for whom Fort Stedman, site of one of the last decisive battles of the War, was named. Also, Edmund Clarence Stedman, who was the great poet of the 19th century, and Dr. Thomas Lathrop Stedman, who was the author of Stedman's Medical Dictionary, were his progeny. Josiah Stedman was a brother-in-law of Lemuel Shattuck who was a founder of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
Robert Stedman is first recorded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1638. It is believed that he was English but came to America from Holland. His family was quite well to do and at one time owned a significant amount of land around what is now Harvard Square. From his family are descended many major figures of the colonial era in Boston. Dr. John Stedman married Mary Quincy and was a Revolutionary War patriot. Dr. Charles Ellery Stedman was a Civil War Doctor who went on to do one of the early studies of the Stedman family.
John Stedman arrived in Cambridge about the same time as Robert. He is thought to be a brother of Robert but that is not proven. It is known that he came to America from England. Some people have assumed that Robert and John were also brothers of Isaac, but no known evidence supports this. However, if you study the Biddenden parish records, you will find records of a John and Robert who could be these people. John was the most patrician of the three early Boston Stedmans owning quite a bit of land and having a sizeable estate. However, there is no record of his having any sons so his line daughtered out. However, they married into some well-known colonial families.
There are records of a few other early Stedman families that cannot be placed within one of these known families. There was a George Stedman who married a Hannah Osborne about 1674 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. There were several in Essex County, primarily Newbury: an Augustin Stedman who was recorded in the 1670s, a Roger Stedman, another John Stedman. Research has yet to identify these people.
The next batch of Stedmans to arrive in America were Scottish and came to America about the 1730s. They came to Philadelphia and settled in the area of Northern Virginia that later became part of West Virginia. My research on this family is very incomplete. However, this is the family from which Rev. Melvin Steadman descended. He was one of the major Steadman family researchers of the late 20th century. If his papers were available, I am sure that many mysteries would be unlocked. I believe that it was a James and Christopher Stedman who were the immigrants but I have not documented this as of yet.
The last major Colonial influx of Stedmans came in the 1760s when four brothers came to America from Scotland. They were cousins of the Stedmans that came in the 1730s. Three of these brothers settled in South Carolina and the fourth in Pennsylvania. There history has been extensively documented in the Steadman-Barton Family genealogy by Joseph Earle Steadman. The South Carolina family spread out throughout the South. The Pennsylvania family migrated to the West. The most famous descendant of these families is Gen. James Blair Steedman of Pennsylvania and Ohio. He was a Civil War hero leading many important battles.
Over time, I will be documenting all that I learn from these families.
Four MacMaster brothers - Hugh, Angus, John and Donald - from Lochaber Scotland came to Nova Scotia about 1819 and settled in Queensville. Hugh's son Angus married a Margaret MacEachern (or MacEachren or MacEachen) from Judique. Their daughter Jessie came to Gloucester and then to Boston at the turn of the century. She married Ira Malcolm Steadman.
A knowledge base of this family is being developed with the hope of identifying the family of the spouse of Angus MacMaster. I expect to release something in 2000.
I hope that these paragraphs have described our research interests. If any of these families have any connection with you, I hope that you will get in touch.
List Administrator for the Stedman, Steadman, Steedman, Lisle, and Ridsdale Lists
Last updated: 6 February 2000
Copyright © 1998-2000, John B. Lisle, Burlington, MA