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Robert Steatham.

At the top is Robert Steatham’s signature on his Will.

Below is his signature when he got married.

Robert Steatham - Name Origins

Steatham is derived from the Statham surname, which is presumed to be from the place named Statham in Cheshire, or from a person; Simon de Stathum, John de Statham, Et Al. To be frank, it's a little unclear.

Spelling also varies from the basic Statham, to Stathum, Stathem and so on.

I am now going to detail the evolution of the Steatham surname - note all baptisms and burials occurred at St Lawrence, Darlaston, Staffs, and are children of Robert & Hannah. I have stated the spelling for Steatham (sic) given in the actual baptism / burial record.

Breakthrough Paper.

It all begins on Monday 20th January 1800, when James Stathem (note the e, but at the end), was baptised [WHC].

Next we have Thomas Statham baptised [WHC] on Sunday the 13th February 1803.

John Statham is next, baptised [WHC] on Wednesday the 27th March 1805, he was buried on Monday the 20th October 1806.

Next is Joseph Statham, born [WHC] on Thursday the 11th of December 1806, baptised [WHC] a little later on Thursday the 25th December 1806.

So far we have only seen Statham (sic).

[On the left is the breakthrough paper, that I used to initially resolve the Steatham lineage at Darlaston].

First recorded use of the Steatham surname.

Sarah & Elizabeth Steatham's baptism
on Sunday the 11th of June 1809,
St Lawrence, Darlaston, Staffs.
Then we have it, where it starts, with the twins, Sarah & Elizabeth Steatham being baptised [WHC] on Sunday the 11th of June 1809.

This event is significant, it being the first recorded use of the Steatham surname.

Sarah was buried [WHC] on Sunday the 13th May 1810.
Elizabeth was buried [WHC] two months later on Thursday the 19th of July 1810.

William Steatham was baptised [WHC] on Sunday the 28th of April 1811. William was buried [WHC] on Saturday the 21st December 1811. The burial records again say Steatham.

Moses Steatham was baptised [WHC] on Sunday the 21st February 1813.

Samuel Steatham was baptised [WHC] on Sunday the 26th of March 1815.

James Steatham was buried[WHC], aged 16, on Sunday the 17th of April 1816.

James Steatham's baptism.
Next we have another child baptised [WHC] as James Steatham on Monday the 27th of April 1818. This James was buried [WHC] on Wednesday the 17th of February 1819.

He was the last child born to Robert and Hannah.

So Robert & Hannah's first and last child were both named James! Tragically neither survived.

  After this date Robert & Hannah have only their four surviving Sons,

Thomas Steatham (1803-1873)
Joseph Steatham (1806-1889)
Moses Steatham (1813-1891)
Samuel Steatham (1815-1884)

Now onto Steatham Signatures...

The first recorded use of the Steatham signature with the Steatham Surname is on Robert Steatham's will, signed on Wednesday the 18th of October 1826.

To read his will in full, go to Robert Steatham's Will page.

Signature at Thomas Steatham's marriage.
The next opportunity for a Steatham signature is the marriage [BPL] of Thomas Steatham (1803-1873), Robert's oldest surviving Son, to Sarah Barber on Monday the 31st March 1834, at St Martins, Birmingham.

Thomas Steatham (sic) could not sign his name, and his name was wrote as Thomas Statham (his mark), his bride Sarah Barber signed her name.

I suppose this could be any Thomas Statham, but by a stroke of luck, his male witness (best man) is down as Joseph Steatham, signed as Steatham, this was Thomas's younger Brother. This confirms that it is our Thomas Steatham (sic).

This is the first, after Robert himself, of a person signing the Steatham surname.

Joseph two years later married Sarah Dangerfield.

Joseph Steatham's

Signature at Thomas Steatham's marriage,
The original marriage record book is held by the archive [BPL] in Birmingham, and they provide microfilmed copies for general use by the public.

Viewing Joseph Steatham's signature is difficult as it is noisy and quite dark. I have reproduced his signature here as best I can.

I asked the archivist [BPL] to check the details on the original record (book) they hold, and I have reproduced here what she wrote.

Interesting to find that just like his father Robert Steatham, the Vicar performing the service is down as a lecturer!

Thomas Nunns, was made assistant Curate at St Martins on Sunday the 8th of August 1824, he was then made Curate of the Chapel of St Bartholomew in the parish of St Martins, on Friday 29th May 1835.

We see mentioned. [BNA]

Aris's Birmingham Gazette - Monday 21st August 1843

PRESENTATION OF PLATE TO THE REV. T. NUNNS. The members of the Congregation of St. Bartholomew's Chapel, Birmingham, and a number of other friends of the Rev, Thomas Nunns, the late Incumbent met in the School-room belonging to the Chapel on Tuesday evening last, for the purpose of presenting to that gentleman a memorial of respect and esteem on the occasion of his removal to St. Paul's Church, Leeds. About one hundred and fifty ladies and gentlemen partook of tea : after which. Mr. HEMING, who officiated as chairman of the meeting, called upon Mr. Potter to read the address agreed to by the Congregation.— Mr. R. B. Potter then proceeded to read the following Address:—

Reverend and dear Sir— As the time has arrived when your ministry amongst us must cease by your removal to what we trust will prove to be a more extended sphere of usefulness, we avail ourselves of the occasion to give expression to our gratitude for your zealous and watchful care over us as a congregation for a period of nine years. We feel that we have during this long period possessed a high privilege, and one involving serious responsibilities. We have had in you, Sir, a faithful pastor, who by his preaching and his practice has furnished us with an example of the true Christian character; not by the teaching of the pulpit alone, but also by the more effectual teaching of a "consistent walk and conversation."

We should be indeed unworthy of the high advantages we enjoy as members of the most favoured branch of the Christian Church, did wo not express our admiration of your fidelity in maintaining the pure doctrine of that Church, and inculcating the vital power of her Saraments. In your efforts to give a spiritual character to all the services of our Church, you have, Sir, had our warmest sympathies ; and we have not been unmindful of your self denying labours in our behalf. If these labours have been unprofitable to us. we feel that with us must rest the condemnation.

Your fervency as our pastor, your evident desire to give efficacy to all your ministrations, your clear and forcible expositions of our Christian duties, your unweared efforts to induce us to make Christian principles the rule and guide of our conduct at all times and under all circumstances, and to keep in continual remembrance that God is always with us and about us ;— these things, dear Sir, are forcibly brought to our recollection now that our connection with you must be severed ; and we earnestly entreat an interest in your prayers, that these advantages bo long possessed may not be entirely without fruit, and so rise up against us in judgment.

We are sure, Sir, that we shall be fully expressing the feelings of the humbler members of your congregation (who ar interested equally with ourselves in the proceedings of this day) when we say that they will on your departure lose a benevolent friend and a liberal benefactor; one who has been ever ready to minister to their wants. The regular and large attendance of this part of your congregation, and their marked attention to the services of the Church, must have afforded the deepest satisfaction to you, Sir, as they have done to us ; and the success which has attended your efforts to increase the accommodation for the poorer classes in St. Bartholomew's Chapel, by the addition of upwards of six hundred free sittings, will, we assure ourselves, be considered by you as one of the most gratifying circumstances attending your ministry amongst us.

Your considerate interest and active labours to insure the success of our Sunday and Day Schools, have produced most beneficial results in a thickly populated neighbourhood ; and we are we aware that your contributions in behalf of these schools have been largely bestowed. As a resident of the town of Birmingham for nearly twenty years, you have obtained the respect of all classes of society. You have been a warm supporter and judicious advocate of our religious and charitable institutions, and an active and energetic promoter of all that was calculated to ameliorate the condition of the distressed among your fellow townsmen. Indeed, Sir, we are conscious that no language of ours could fully express our admiration of your Christian conduct in this respect. It has been truly said that you have been " the servant of the poor."

Reverend and dear Sir— We bid yon farewell. We feel that on your departure from amongst us the Church here will have lost one of her brightest ornaments, and most zealous and faithful ministers. We feel that we shall lose a devoted and affectionate pastor ; the poor a kind and constant friend ; and the town a high-principled and amiable man. You leave us with our best wishes for the continued prosperity and happiness of yourself and your family, w!th our hopes that your ministry in another church may produce abundant fruits. And may the God of all grace, "whose you are and whom you serve," be with you to the end.

Mr. Potter then presented the testimonial to the Rev. Mr. Nunns, in a brief but appropriate address. It consisted of a Silver Tea Service and an elegant silver Salver, bearing the following inscription :— "This Salver, together with a Silver Tea Service, was presented by the Congregation of St. Bartholomew's Chapel, Birmingham, and other friends, to the Reverend Thomas Nunns, M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge, as a testimonial of their respect and esteem for his Christian character, as exemplified during a period of nine years in which he was the Minister of that Chapel, and during a residence of nearly twenty years in Birmingham, Aug. 15, 1843."— The plate was manufactured by Messrs. Edwards and Ball, and weighs 165 ounces.

The Rev. M. W. Foye, who has succeeded to the Incumbency of St. Bartholomew's, expressed on the part of the clergy of Birmingham their deep regret at the departure of Mr. Nunns; and that gentleman replied at considerable length.— Mr. Bartholomew next read an Address from the Teachers of the Schools attached to the chapel, and delivered to Mr. Nunns a handsome silver mounted Inkstand bearing the following inscription :— " Presented to the Rev. Thomas Nunns, M. A., by his Sunday School Teachers, as a testimonial of their love and esteem, on the occasion of his retirement from the incumbency of St. Bartholomew's Chapel. Birmingham. 1843."— To this Address Mr. Nunns replied in a suitable manner.— A vote of thanks was then passed to the chairman, and the meeting was dissolved.

I think that Mr. Bartholomew may possible be as we call it now, a typo!

Worcester Journal - Thursday 1st June 1843

PREFERMENTS. The Rev. T. Nunns, Curate of St Bartholomew's, Birmingham, has been presented by the Vicar of Leeds to the Perpetual Curacy of St. Paul's Church, in that town, vacant the decease of the Rev. T. Atkinson.

Moses Steatham's marriage

Moses & Samuel Steatham's signatures

Next we have Moses Steatham (1813-1891) marrying Elizabeth Griffiths on Sunday the 18th of January 1835, at St Matthews, Walsall. Both Moses and his brother Samuel signed their names as Steatham.

Please click on the image to see the signatures, as it was not possible to clean up this image.

After this date all Steathams, with a few exceptions (Steathern, Steathem - but these still have the e in the correct place), are spelt correctly as Steatham.

Robert Steatham's boarding pass.

In 2018 the Insight mission of a Mars lander arrived at Mars.

Prior to flight, NASA issued boarding passes that were placed on a tiny 0.8 cm-square (8mm-square) microchip placed aboard the spacecraft, it contained over 1.3 million names, and according to NASA carried "The hopes and dreams of the world".

I placed Robert Steatham's name onboard on the "passenger list" for the mission to Mars-InSight!

NASA's InSight spacecraft touched down 26th November 2018 on Mars to study the planet's deep interior. A little more than one Martian year later, the stationary lander has detected more than 480 quakes and collected the most comprehensive weather data of any surface mission sent to Mars.

So we now have Robert Steatham's name on a microchip on the surface of another planet in our Solar system, Mars!

It's seems a long way from Robert signing his name on his Will in a solicitor's office in Darlaston, over one hundred and ninety two years ago (2023).

View the Boarding Pass at the NASA website

Visit NASA Insight website    All Rights Reserved.