If, somehow, one could call together all the members
who are alive today, of every family in the world bearing the Stentiford
or Stuttaford names, what would the total number of people be? Well, the
answer may surprise you and it is the reason we were drawn
to set down the history of these families in the first place - you could
seat the gathering comfortably on one side of Centre Court at Wimbledon
and have plenty of room to spare for the tiny handful of surviving
Stedefords, Stidefords, Stettafords, Stidevers etc. Descendents of the
female line (who do not carry the names) would swell the numbers a little but
there would be nowhere near the number of people needed to fill all the available
seats around the court. The fact is, that this is a
steadily declining "clan" which is rapidly becoming an endangered species.
Historically, the numbers in each generation were always relatively low
but the long-term effect of the loss of so many of our young men in World War 1 has been to wipe out, not
only their generation but the potential descendent generations needed to keep the names going.
Roy Hewitt, who returns as a contributor this
month, has made it a personal mission, with his wife Pat, to visit the grave or memorial in
France of each of those family members who died in that terrible War and, where
possible, to place a poppy cross in remembrance of each man and his bravery
- a symbol too of the irreparable loss the "clan" as a whole
has suffered. These lads were too young to leave descendents but what
they did should not be forgotten by any of us.
Roy is preparing a tribute to these men which he
is planning to make available to readers either in printed form or on CD
- he would like to know how many people may be interested in his
project - please try to find time to e-mail him with your comment
- the address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our thanks to Roy Hayter for pointing out an error
in Issue 23: we referred to the "tiny port of Callington"
which should have read "the tiny port of Calstock". Don't
bother to look back - we've corrected the file and changed it! Please,
please tell us when we make mistakes so they can be corrected.
Avid searchers in the IGI will have noticed many
entries for the Scilly Isles for families with various spelling of the
Stedeford/Stideford forms of the name. In this Issue, we begin to tell
their story and we are very grateful to Richard Pearce who runs a webcam
site in this beautiful place for allowing us to establish a link. We
hope you will take regular virtual trips and explore the islands to get
yourself in the mood to read about this group of families. The address