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Photo of Henry George Steatham's signature
Henry George Steatham

'The man that moved away',
the enigmatic figure of Steatham genealogy....

Henry George Steatham

Here is one of the most interesting Steatham stories of all.

Henry George Steatham, has been treated as separate, due to there being doubt, about Henry's connection to Robert Steatham.

Now after nearly two decades of research, the mystery has finally been solved.

What follows is Henry George Steatham's story, and the final piece in the jigsaw that solved the mystery.

Henry George Steatham (1854-1931).

This research is broken down into Five sections;

Quick Overview.

Detailed Research.


Mystery Solved.

Census findings.

Research - Additional Planned.

Quick Overview

Henry George Statham [sic] born 1854, married Mary Ann Muslow.
They had five children,

Clara Munslow Steatham born 1885, married Thomas Martin, they had four children.

Maud Elizabeth Constance Steatham born 1887, married Stephen Dennis Barrett, they had one child.

Arthur Edward Steatham born 1892, married Selina J. Jago, they had eight children.

Henry George Steatham born 1895, married Elsie Rose Annie Stevens, they had two children.

Ethel Beatrice Steatham born 1898.

Detailed Research

Photo of Henry George Steatham's house where he was living when he signed his will.

Henry George Steatham's house
where he was living when he signed his will.

Copyright 2010 - Nigel James Wright.

One day many years ago, in Birmingham Library [BPL], I found a will for a Henry George Steatham, probate proved at Birmingham 19th October 1931.

I had not come across Henry before in my research, finding and reading his will was quite a revelation!

Henry lived in Greenwich, London, but here was his will being proved in Birmingham!

To read his will in full, go to

Henry George Steatham's Will
Photo of Henry George Steatham grave,<br> Charlton cemetery, Greenwich

Henry George Steatham's grave,
Charlton Cemetery, Greenwich.

Copyright 2010 - Nigel James Wright.

I checked James Bridge Cemetery. for his burial, but he was not there. I then started looking for him being buried in Greenwich, and found him at Charlton Cemetery, Greenwich.

The burial records at Charlton Cemetery, and his death registration, state that Henry died on Wednesday the 24th June 1931, aged 77, at 6 Great Croft Street, Darlaston, Staffs!

What was he doing there?

He was buried on Tuesday the 30th June 1931, in grave number P 97, and down as a Retired Gun Lock Filer.

Follow the link to view Henry's grave.

Charlton Cemetery, Greenwich.

I live over a hundred miles from Greenwich, so I telephoned and asked a member of the cemetery staff to go and see if Henry's memorial stone was still standing.

I rang back later that day, and what he told me just added to the mystery.

"He was not first to go in there".

He then told me that first person to be buried in the grave was a Emma Maria Moxen!
  The burial records have a Emma Maria Moxen, who died on Friday the 7th March 1924, aged 59, at 115 Abbeygrove Road, Abbeywood, London, and was buried on Monday the 24th March 1924.

There is the same Emma Maria that was mentioned in Henry's will, as his house keeper.

This is why the research of Memorial Inscriptions, are so important, as without this information, Henry's relationship with his house keeper would never have surfaced.

Cemetery records indicate that the grave is owned by a Eleanor Mary Allen of Nadine Street, Charlton.

So summarizing - Henry was living at 65 Vanbrugh Hill, East Greenwich - [see photo] - when he made his will on Monday the January 25th 1915.

He had property in High Street, 6 Great Croft Street, and Willenhall Road, Darlaston.

His housekeeper [sic] Emma Maria dies, and a grave is purchased, and put in the ownership of her daughter, Eleanor Mary Allen.

Henry then dies in Darlaston, at the most important Steatham address of all, 6 Great Croft Street, and is then buried with Emma at Charlton Cemetery, Greenwich.

Normally Steathams are fairly easy to research, I just look for a baptism or civil registration, other wills that mentions them, marriage certificate, finally census entries.

I never found a baptism or civil registration for Henry, but after acquiring the wills of sisters, Elizabeth Steatham (1835-1913), and Sarah Steatham (1839-1928), I could see Henry mentioned and being left property, notably 6 Great Croft Street, Darlaston.

In the Will of an Elizabeth Steatham (1835-1913), she left everything to Henry and her surviving sister Sarah.

Elizabeth also willed that her sister Sarah could live at 6 Great Croft Street during her lifetime, but after her death, the house passed to Henry George.

When Sarah Steatham (1839-1928) died, she left a third of everything she had to Henry George Steatham.

Click the following link to read Elizabeth's and Sarah's Wills, and see their gravestones,

Elizabeth Steatham et al

Henry George Steatham's marriage.
We know that Henry George Steatham married [BPL] Mary Ann Munslow, on Friday the 4th March 1883, at St Martins, Birmingham. Henry was following Robert Steatham, and his son Thomas Steatham; Elizabeth and Sarah's, father, by being married there.

I half expected Henry George's father's name to be blank, but it is down as James Steatham!

What a suprise that was!

There is a James Steatham that would fit, he is James Steatham (1835-1904), he was a son of Moses Steatham (1813-1891).

James had two children, Sarah Hannah (1851-), and Elizabeth (1858-), but no Henry was every recorded!

So the information gleamed from his marriage raises more questions than it answers!
Photo of House (last one standing) in Cartlich St, Thomas Farr's residence in 1891 Census

House (last one standing) in Cartlich St,

Thomas Farr's residence in 1891 Census.

Copyright 2010 - Nigel James Wright.

Up until recently only the 1881 census was available indexed, so in 1881 he is found at 25 Great Croft Street, aged 26, Henry Steatham. unmarried, Gun Lock Filer, born Chell.

In the 1871 census he is found at Little Croft Street, with Thomas Steatham, and his family, but down as Henry G. Brough, lodger, aged 17, unmarried, apprentice Gun Lock Filer, again born Chell.

In the 1861 Census, Henry would have been aged 7, I have searched all of Darlaston, in both Steatham and Brough Families, and he is not there.

Easter 1998, I drove up to Tunstall, and also visited Chell, which is about 2 miles away. As we went through the town I firstly noticed a shop 'FARRS', then at churchyards at Newchurch & Norton in the Moors, which are close to Chell, there were Brough Memorial Inscriptions.

Where does that leave us?

Well, we know that the other sister Mary, married a Thomas Farr who was born at Tunstall, and their daughter Florence & Henry George, are both recorded as being born in nearby Chell.

Brough is not that common surname, and the evidence of the Memorial Inscriptions indicates the presence of Brough's in that area.

If Henry was born in Chell, there may be a baptism record, it could be recorded as Brough, Steatham or Farr.

But the mystery remains why is there no known birth record for him as a Steatham, and why did he apparently use the surname Brough?

We will now skip the census section, and go straight to discussion.

Photo of Email

Email that gave the breakthrough.

The question all along has been how, if he does, Henry link into the Steatham tree?

Is it just that he was at the right place, at the right time, to gain the patronage of Elizabeth and her sister Sarah?

The break came in 2008, when I had an email from a researcher of the Brough surname.

Included was a copy of the 1861 census entry for Henry Stalam, aged 7, born at nearby Chell.

He is a border at a private house in Goldenhill, which is very near Chell.

In later life, Henry started to state in the census, that he was born at Goldenhill, not Chell.

Who was paying for this young man to be a border?

I was also informed of a civil registration for a Henry G Statham at Goldenhill in 1854.

Is this our Henry George Steatham?

I applied for the birth certificate; who was it going to mention?

Lots of candidates; Elizabeth, with no fathers name, Mary or even Sarah, what about James Steatham?

The mother and father's name may have no connection at all to the Steathams we know about.

What was his connection to Thomas's family, was he just a lucky lodger, from Chell?

I now have his birth certificate, so the mystery of who and where he came from, has finally been solved.

Click the following link to watch a YouTube video of the birth certificate being opened, then scroll down to read the story.

Video of the birth certificate being opened.

  Mystery Solved.

Henry's birth certificate says;

Henry George Statham, born the 13th March 1854 in Chell, was registered on the 2nd April 1854, by his Mother Elizabeth Statham [sic], the Father's name is down as blank.

Robert Steatham (1775-1827) had four surviving sons; on them the survival of the Steatham name relied.

Thomas Steatham (1803-1873) had always been the odd one out; he couldn't spell his own name, was married at St Martins, Birmingham, the same as his father Robert Steatham, the only son to do so. He also seemed to the best off financially of all the brothers.

Thomas Steatham only had daughters, so his tree did not give us any Steatham named descendents, but now that all changes.

Putting it all together, this is :-

The story of Henry George Steatham:

Thomas Steatham (1803-1873), the eldest of Robert Steatham's sons, marries, and names his first two daughters after his twin sisters who died in infancy.

The eldest, Elizabeth Steatham (1835-1913), just gone 19 years of age, travels to Chell, near Tunstall Staffs, and gives birth to Henry George Statham [sic], on Saturday the 13th March 1854.

Who the father was, and if Henry is named after him, is unknown.

On the night of the 1861 census, Henry is being bordered by his mother, at a house in Goldenhill.

By the time of the 1871 census, Henry is now down in Darlaston, living with his mother, grandparents, and his aunties.

His real identity is kept secret from the enumerator, who was normally a local person, by giving him the surname Brough.

On Friday the 10th August 1873, Henry, attends with his mother, the funeral of his grandfather, Thomas Steatham (1803-1873), at St Lawrence, Darlaston.

In the 1881 census, Henry has now moved a few houses, still in Great Croft Street, to number 25, but he is now down as Henry George Steatham, his correct name.

St Martins 1795, The Bull Ring, Birmingham.
St Martins 1795, The Bull Ring, Birmingham.
Henry George Steatham now marries, at the same church as his grandfather Thomas Steatham, and his great grandfather Robert Steatham, on Friday the 4th March 1883, Mary Ann Muslow.

This is St Martins, Birmingham.

They live in Darlaston, and have their first child, Clara Ann Munslow, born in 1885, they then move to Plumstead, London, and have Maud Elizabeth Constance, in 1887.
St Lawrence, Cock Street, Darlaston

St Lawrence, Cock Street, Darlaston,
where Sarah Steatham was buried.

On Monday the 29th December 1890, Henry arrives back in Darlaston, to attend with his mother, the funeral of his grandmother, Sarah Steatham, at St Lawrence, Darlaston.

  Henry and his family are shown in the 1891 census, as living at 50 Anglesea Road Woolwich / Greenwich.

Arthur Edward, is now born on Saturday the 19th December 1892, in Woolwich, and three years later, Henry George [2nd], is born on Wednesday the 11th September 1895, at 190 Co?le [could be Cable] Street, Whitechapel, London.

Their last child, Ethel Beatrice, is born to them in 1898, again at Whitechapel [hospital?].

In the 1901 census, Henry and is family are at 21 Marlton Street, Greenwich.

To quote from Henry's will "I leave my wife Mary Ann Steatham the sum of one Shilling she having deserted me December 3rd 1907."

No trace of Mary Ann Steatham [Nee Munslow], as ever been found.

On Wednesday the 4th June 1913, Elizabeth Steatham makes a will leaving 6 Great Croft Street to her son, Henry George Steatham.

Elizabeth dies on Thursday the 5th June 1913, and Henry George Steatham attends her funeral on Monday the 9th June 1913 at James Bridge Cemetery, Darlaston, and as he is the sole executor of her will, he visits Lichfield on Wednesday the 23rd July 1913, where probate is granted.

On Monday the 25th January 1915, Henry makes his own Will.

Henry's aunt, Sarah Steatham, now makes a will on Saturday the 7th March 1925, leaving a third of what she has to Henry.

Sarah dies on Thursday the 12th January 1928, probate is proved at London [did she die at Henry's house in Greenwich?], on Wednesday the 21st March 1928 to Florence Farr Spinster & Thomas Steatham Estate Agent Effects 948 8s 7d.

Next Emma Maria Moxen, dies on Friday the 7th March 1924, aged 59, at 115 Abbeygrove Road, Abbeywood, London, and is buried on Monday the 24th March 1924, at Charlton Cemetery.

On Wednesday the 24th June 1931, Henry while at Darlaston, dies at 6 Great Croft Street, he does not have a post mortem, but an inquest is held the next day by the Coroner for Staffordshire South East, Mr Frank Cooper.

Henry's cause of death is stated as "Heart failure due to fatty degeneration of the heart".

I have checked the edition of the Express & Star newspaper that would have had a report, but there is none listed. The paper had numerous editions, such as Dudley, Walsall and so on. The only surviving copies are the last edition for Wolverhampton town (as it was then). It may well be that the Walsall edition did a carry a report, but that is now lost to us.

Stafford Record Office, Walsall Local History Centre and Wolverhampton Archives, do not have a copy of the Inquest, contacting the Coroner's Office has also been fruitless, as they only keep them for 15 years at the present, and they have none going back to 1931.

His death is registered on Friday the 26th June 1931, and he is then transported back to Charlton, and buried with Emma on Tuesday 30th June 1931.

As expected his "Rank or Profession" is stated as "Of no occupation formally a Lock Filer".

The Affidavit in support of Will of Henry George Steatham on the 19th October 1931 - Probate of this Will granted at Birmingham. Effects 1139 18s 3d.

I suppose we could say that is the end of the story, but many years ago I made contact with an Archibald George Steatham (1922-), he was the only son of Henry George Steatham (1895-1965), who was of course one of Henry George Steatham's children.

We communicated by telephone and letter.

Here are extracts from letters [AGS] he sent me, which shed light on Henry George Steatham,

...agree it's most unusual, and I've had to spell it most of my 76 years. 'They' will insist on putting an 'R' into it, making it into a S.W. London suburb - STREATHAM! I can vaguely recall ( being 7, 8, or 9 at the time ) my father - Henry George Steatham - speaking of the death of his father - also Henry George Steatham who lived in a house called 'The Croft' at Wednesbury, and that he so will-ed it to be buried in Charlton Cemetery SE London. Why he so wished this, I do not know...

...You mentioned on the phone the name Moxen, - Well I do recall when I was a young boy, had a 'Aunty' Mary - who my sister and I was very fond of - but although she was a Mrs. Allen, my father referred to her rather as Mary Moxen, and not knowing why, my sister and I rather thought that she was not 'friendly' towards her. We loved it when Mum would take us to aunty Mary's for a day visit, as we thought she was 'posh' - living at Bromley - ( bordering on South London and Kent ) and owned a car ( which looking back, must have been a 'bull nosed Morris. ) Nobody in our humble Greenwich circle of friends and neighbours - had a car, or did indeed, have a fur coat ) not even the corner - shop owner's wife ) - as 'aunty Mary had ! I can only assume she must have been the daughter of Mrs Moxen, who either lived with - or was his house - keeper, when my granddad, Henry George Steatham snr: lived at Vanbrugh Hill East Greenwich, I really don't know, little if - anything of that...

There is more in the letters but they are of a personal nature so I will not publish those here.

Archibald was a lovely man, but sadly he is no longer with us.

I think we should leave the last word to Archibald,

"...I married and had one daughter, so when I die, the name of Steatham will cease as far as my branch of the family is concerned. - as I have only a married sister, and never did have brothers...

Census findings

I have searched the 1841-1911 Census's, and here are the results.

Searching Census records for Steathams is problematic to say the least as the enumerator did not always record the surname correctly.

This is compounded by the modern transcripts used to search the records as they are also full of mistakes, with the Steatham surname being stated as Beatham, Heathem and so on.

I will state what was recorded on the actual census, also Henry George Steatham and Mary Ann Steatham [Nee Munslow] will marked as bold & underlined, and his children will be marked as underlined.

The Census was always conducted on a Sunday.

[1841 - June 6th]

Not applicable.

[1851 - March 30th]

Not applicable.

[1861 - April 7th]

Sarah Hogg, aged 25, Housekeeper, Henry Stalam [sic], aged 7, border, born Chell, Thomas Hogg, aged 65, Coal Miner, border, and his wife, Ann, aged 62, also a border.

At Garden Street, Goldenhill.

[1871 - April 2nd]

Thomas Steatham, aged 68, Gun Lock Filer, Sarah, aged 70, Elizabeth, aged 33, Mary, aged 30, Sarah, aged 28 and lastly Henry G Brough [sic], aged 16, apprentice Gun Lock Filer, born Chell.

At Little Croft Street, Darlaston.

[1881 - April 3rd]

Henry Steatham, aged 26, Gun Lock Filer, born Chell.

At 25 Great Croft Street, Darlaston.

[1891 - April 5th]

Henry G Steatham, aged 38, Engineer Fitter F? F?, born Goldenhill [sic], Staffs, Mary A, aged 28, born Birmingham, Clara M, aged 6, born Darlaston, Maud Ethel, age 4, born Plumstead, Kent.

At 50 Anglesea Road Woolwich / Greenwich.
[1.2 miles from where Henry is buried].

[1901 - March 31st]

Henry G Steatham aged 46, M? A?, born Goldenhill. North Staffs, May [sic] A, aged 39, born Birmingham, Clara, aged 16, feighying? Ammunition Haw? worker, born Darlaston, Maud, aged 14, born Plumstead Kent, Arthur, aged 8, born Plumstead, Kent., George, aged 5, Whitechapel, London, Ethel, aged 3, Whitechapel, London.

At 21 Marlton Street, Greenwich.
[2 miles from where Henry is buried].

[1911 - April 2nd]

Arthur Steatham aged 18, labourer at Barge Building, boarder, with George Engelfield's family.

At 24 Bellot Street, East Greenwich.

Research - Additional Planned.

In Progress.

Locate in 1911 Census.


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