Kinsearching March 3, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     On April 12-14, 2013, the 11th national STIDHAM family reunion is scheduled to take place in Wilmington, Delaware. This year the reunion will celebrate the 375th anniversary of the STIDHAM family in America. The event is sponsored by the Timen Stiddem Society, named for one of the first Swedish immigrants to arrive in what is now the United States in 1638. A barber-surgeon who settled in New Sweden (now Wilmington) in 1654 and recognized as the first physician in what is now the state of Delaware, Timen Stiddem anglicized his name to Timothy Stidham. Other spellings of the surname include STIDAM, STIDDAM, STIDOM, STEDHAM, STEADHAM, and STEDDOM.

     Planned activities include a commemoration of the 1638 landing of the Swedish pioneers at Fort Christina Park, a tour of the Kalmar Nyckel (the replica of the ship on which Dr. Stiddem worked on the 1637-1638 voyage from Sweden), a tour of the Holy Trinity “Old Swedes” Church and cemetery (where many Stidhams are buried), the dedication of a historic marker at the site of Dr. Stiddem’s home and office in Wilmington, and a bus tour with stops at the Hagley Museum in Wilmington; Governor Printz Park in Essington, Pennsylvania; the Finnish Monument in Chester, Pennsylvania; the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia; and a special Swedish service at the Gloria Dei Church.

     Special arrangements can also be made for individuals who wish to attend the Delaware Swedish Colonial Society Forefathers Day luncheon at the Wilmington Country Club. Each year the organization honors the landing of the Swedes in the Delaware River Valley in 1638.

     For details about costs, housing, and further information about the itineraries, go to the website at

     In addition to sponsoring the annual reunion, the organization has published an award-winning quarterly, The Timen Stiddem Society Newsletter, since 1998. Edited by David R. Stidham, the periodical furnishes current news about Stidham milestones (births, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, deaths, honors, and other notable events) from all over the country in every issue. Usually, each issue also provides historical or genealogical data based on specific themes. For examples, issues printed in 2012 and 2013 pertain to barber-surgeons in the seventeenth century, old-time life in a Quaker town (Wilmington, Delaware), biographical sketches of Stidhams/Steddoms who were Quakers, participants in the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars, and a roll of honor of Stidhams who served in the Spanish-American War in 1898.

     A subscription is included in the annual membership dues of $20. Anyone interested in joining can mail a check, payable to the Timen Stiddem Society, to Kay Wootten-Schechinger, TSS Membership Secretary, 209 E. State Street, Millsboro, Delaware 19966.

     Researchers interested in Houston, Texas, will want to read Sarah Canby Jackson’s article, “Harris County Archives Celebrating Ten Years” on page 29 of the February 2013 issue of Southwestern Archivist. Now housed in its new location, the Harris County Archives shares the Todd Street facility with the County Clerk’s Archives.

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