This interesting surname is a variant of Stead, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources, the first being a locational name from Stead in the West Riding of Yorkshire, or from some other place taking its name from the Old English pre 7th Century "stede", farm, estate, place. The second source is from the Middle English "stead", stud horse, stallion, from the Old English "steda", applied as either a nickname to a lusty person or as an occupational name to someone responsible for looking after stallions. The surname development since 1180 (see below) includes the following: Roger Stedeman (1275, Huntingdonshire), Henry le Stede (1281, Oxfordshire), Henry le Stedeman (1285, Essex) and Robert le Stedman (1323, Staffordshire). The modern surname can be found as Stead, Ste(e)d(e), Ste(a)dman and Steedman. Among the recordings in London are the christenings of Thomas, son of William and Sarah Steadman, on November 21st 1646 at St. James', Clerkenwell, and of Henry; son of Thomas and Martha Steadman, on September 29th 1695 at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Uchtred Stede, which was dated 1180, The Pipe Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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