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Steatham Research - Australia Connection

Expect for one or two exceptions, Steathams have not migrated/moved much from England.

A search of telephone directories will only find one in the USA, a few in South Africa, and virtually none elsewhere.

This is the story of the Steatham link to Australia.

I would like to thank Alfred's grandson, Robert Caldwell for the contribution he has made to this research, in providing photos and information regarding his grandfather.

Alfred Steatham was born on Tuesday the 14th April 1868 in Willenhall. He can be seen in the 1881 Census, living in Willenhall.

He was the eldest child of Josiah Steatham (1842-1920) and Harriet Fisher. The 'Derby' Steathams as I call them.

Josiah was a son of Moses Steatham (1813-1891), one of Robert Steatham's surviving sons.

Photo of Austral Immigrant Ship

The Austral Immigrant Ship,
in which Alfred Steatham,
travelled to Australia.
We next find Alfred travelling to Australia on the Immigrant Ship Austral.

Austral was a 3214 Ton, two funnelled, three masted, steamship of the Orient Line / Anchor Line, and the Master for this trip was a James Nixon.

There was a crew of 173, to accomodate, both steam and sail, and the 139 passengers; those that were listed as being on board when the ship reached Sydney.

It left the port of London and arrived at Sydney on Tuesday the 5th August 1890.

Click this link to search the records for the ship - fill in the ship name on the form.

Immigrant Ship Austral Passenger Listing

Alfred Steatham's wedding.
On Wednesday the 23rd September 1903, Alfred Steatham married Emily Louise Sharp. at St Aidens, in the town of Blackheath.

Alfred was stated as being aged 35, and Emily aged 26.

Alfred's grandson, Robert Caldwell submitted the following,

"Alfred was travelling to Australia to join a family friend, Mr. J Hurd who was operating a grocery and general store at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

On the 5th August 1890 he arrived in Sydney and made his way to Blackheath. A description of their meeting at the railway station was printed in the ‘Clarion’ newspaper of Tuesday 10th August 1948 (following Alfred’s death). It reads in part:

“Mr. Alf. Steatham arrived on the Fish (afternoon) train in 1890. One of the diversions of that day was to watch the train come in. One resident Mr. Hurd, greeted young Steatham with a kiss. He had known the lad in the Old Country, and had invited him to come to Australia to help him in his store.”

Some months after the arrival of Alfred to Blackheath family pressures necessitated Mr. Hurd returning to England and he sold the business to Mr. H.J. Collier, so commenced an association between Mr. Steatham and Mr. Collier that lasted over forty years.

In June 1903 Alfred purchased a block of land in Blackheath and commenced building a residence where he would live for the rest of his life."

Alfred Steatham - Outside the store.

Alfred is shown here on the extreme right of the photograph standing in front of the horse and cart, outside the store in Blackheath,

Alfred Steatham - Outside his store.

Alfred is shown here on the left on a horse, again outside the store in Blackheath,
Photo of St. Aidens as it looks today

St. Aidens as it looks today.
The wedding was reported in the ‘Mountaineer’ newspaper of 2nd October 1903. It reads in part:

A pretty wedding was celebrated in St. Aiden’s Church on Wednesday morning last, when Mr. Alfred Steatham, of Derbyshire, England, and lately of the Central Stores, Blackheath, was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Miss Emily Sharp, fifth daughter of Mr. Henry Sharp, of this town. The officiating clergyman being Rev. F. Beeman. The church was tastefully decorated with flowers and greenery by girlfriends of the bride. The bridesmaid was Miss Edith Sharp, sister of the bride and Mr. W. Easterbrook, of Lithgow, was the best man.

Alfred's grandson, Robert Caldwell recalls the following,

"During Alfred’s (Alf as he was known to his friends) life he was involved in the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) Lodge, the Blackheath Rifle Club, the School of Arts and a number of community projects around Blackheath.

This is well documented in several publications including “Grandfather Worked on the Pool: Tales of Old Blackheath” by Nance Smith and “Historic Blackheath” compiled by the Rotary Club of Blackheath 1975 - 76.

Alfred was always proud of his English heritage and of his Steatham surname".

Photo of Alfred Steatham & Jean Ella Caldwell (nee Steatham) circa 1946

Alfred Steatham &
Jean Ella Caldwell (nee Steatham)
circa 1946.
Alfred and Emily Steatham had one child, Jean Ella Steatham, born on Friday the 10th August 1906.

Leaving the last word to Robert,

"Emily Steatham died on Saturday the 3rd of March 1934. She is buried in the Blackheath Cemetery. Alfred Steatham died on Friday the 30th July 1948 after a short illness. He also is buried in the Blackheath cemetery.

Jean Ella Steatham, on Wednesday the 9th September 1936, married Norman Wallace Caldwell. They had two children. Jean died on Monday the 15th April 1996 and she too is buried at Blackheath Cemetery.

We can see Alfred Steatham and his family mentioned in a number of newspapers of the time, as follows,

The Sydney Morning Herald - Wednesday 10th May 1899.
Northen Rifle Association - Katoomba, Tuesday.
A rifle match between teams of 10 men of the Blackheath and Katoomba rifle teams clubs took place at the former range on Saturday. The contest is the first of a series of three competitions for the Bronger Challenge Shield, which at present is held by Katoomba Club.

The weather was aginst high scoring, there being a strong and gusty wind. Conditions, seven shots at 500 and 600 yards. The match resulted in a win for Blackheath by 3 points.

Scores : Blackheath, 436 (Slayter 58, Steatham 52, Delaney 51) ; Katoomba, 433 (Murray 56, Spark 49, Bashford 49).

The Sydney Morning Herald - Friday 14th September 1906.
Rifle Shooting Blackheath Thursday.
The final shooting for prizes in connection with the Blackheath Civilan?Rifle Club has concluded. Results. First. W Scrague: Second, A. Steatham: third. H. Neate: Fourth, C. Neate. The prizes were ? cash.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 15th July 1911.
Blackheath Friday.
The installation of officers of Blackheath lodge-room last evening by Bro. A. Steatham, lodge-room wast evening by Bro. A. Steatham D.D.G.M.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 23rd March 1912.
Blackheath Friday.
At a meeting of Blackheath Lodge 76?, I.O.O.F, Bros. S. Jones was elected represntative of the ensueing grand lodge session., and Wor. Bro. A. Steatham, D.D.G.M, was again nominated for the position of District Deputy for grand lodge's approval. A visit was paid (sic) by number of members of lodge Good Intent, No. 37, Hartley Vale.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 7th May 1912.
Personel Column,
Blackheath Friday.
Bro. A. Steatham D.D.G.M., and secretary to Blackheath Lodge, I.O.O.F., was presented by Bro. B. Beedman, N.G., on behalf of the members, with a P?st Grand Jewel, in recognition of services rendered to the lodge.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Thursday 23rd February 1922.
Intermediate Exam Pass list.
Katoomba Intermediate High School.
Steatham, Jean. 1B (English), 5B (Mathematics II), 7B (French), 12B (Botany), 13A (Geology).

The Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 25th July 1925.
The twenty-second annual report of the Blackheath School of Arts showed that the number of members was 369, and subscribers 489. The following officers were elected. Presldent, Mr. A. Plttendrlgh; vlce-president, Messrs. W. Downie, H. J. Collier, and II, Mack; hon. secretary, Mr. R. Faulklner; hon. treasurer, Mr. Collier; committee, Messrs. W, Bligh, S. T. Green, J. H. Jones, W. C. Lam, S. Scandritt B. Scandritt, C. Mcpherson, A. Shearin, and A. Steatham.
An honorarium of £10 was authorised to be paid to the librarian, Miss Boyne.

The Brisbane Courier - Monday 21st July 1930.
Ship Inteligence
Mentioned is the departure of the Canberra on ? the 19th July, via Sydney and Melbourne (passed Pile light 2:15 pm), of a passenger, A. Steatham

The Sydney Morning Herald - Monday 5th March 1934.
Family Notices - Deaths.
STEATHAM, - March 3, 1934, at Katoomba, Emily Louise Steatham, late of Malvern, Blackheath, dearly loved wife of Alfred, and beloved mother of Jean, aged 56 years. At rest.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Monday 12th March 1934.
Family Notices.
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES. - Probate Jurisdiction. - In the Will of EMILY LOUISE STEATHAM late of "Malvern" ClanWilliam-street Blackheath in the State of New South Wales Married Woman deceased. - Application will be made after fourteen days from the publication hereof that Probate of the last Will and Testamentof the abovenamed deceased may be granted to ALFRED STEATHAM the sole Executor therin named.
All notices may be served at the offices of the offices of the undersigned to whom all persons having any claims against the Estate of the said deceased are required to furnish particulars thereof within such fourteen days as aforesaid. KERSHAW MATTHEWS LANE and GLASGOW, Proctors for the Applicant, Ocean House, 34 Martin-place, Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 31st July 1948.
STEATHAM, Alfred, - July 30, 1948, at his residence, Malvern, 74 Clanwilliam Street, Blackheath, beloved husband of the late Emily Louise Steatham, and fond father of Jean (Mrs. N. W. Caldwell), aged 80 years.

The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday 31st July 1948.
Family Notices - Deaths.
STEATHAM the funeral of the late ALFRED STEATHAM will leave St Alden's Church, Blackheath, This Saturday after service commencing at 2 pm for Church of England Cemetery Blackheath Wood Coffill Limited corner Bathurst Road and Cascade Street, Katoomba. Phone Kat 41.
STEATHAM, - Lodge Blackheath np 75 IOOF - Officiers and Members of the above lodge are requested to attend the Funeral of their late Secretary, Bro. ALFRED STEATHAM P. G. See above notice for particulars. regalia J. Harris N.G.

Now for something very odd indeed, we see in the

The Sydney Morning Herald - Tuesday 1st october 1861,
the following.

City Court - Drunkeness - a Benjamin Steatham fined 5s.

The name Steatham is spelt correctly, I suppose we have to make of it what we can. But in this time period there never was a Benjamin Steatham!

Click this link to see the original newspaper records

Australian Newspapers

What a fascinating story this is; as we know Alfred's father, Josiah Steatham, moved his family from Willenhall to Derby.

In the days of no welfare support, if you lost your job, it was quite courageous to move away from an area where all your family and friends were.

Alfred seemed to have the same desire to see the World, but he was obviously a man who did not do things by halves, and it must have been quite an act of faith in his own abilities to have undertaken this move to the other side of the World, at the age of only just over 22 years.

Note - there are other connections to Australia but they are of a more recent date, so the details cannot be divulged.    All Rights Reserved.