This interesting name has two possible origins, both occupational. The first derives from the pre 7th Century words "stoda or steda," meaning a stallion, plus "man(n)", a skilled man, one employed to look after the stallions. The second possibility is that the first element derives from the similar Old English "stede," translating variously as a property or estate, and hence a person employed probably as an overlooker or foreman. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), whilst amongst the early recordings is that of John le Stedman in the Writs of Parliament for the city of London, dated 1306, and Robertus Stud hyrd in the Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. In the modern idiom, the name has a number of variations including Steadman, Stedman, Steedman, Stedmond and Studman. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Stedeman, which was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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