The Beaumont Project

Stead and MacPherson Families.

I was intrigued by a report on George Sherry Palmer (in the Weakley data) which reads as follows:-

"According to family tradition, George (Sherry) Palmer was the son of a Squire in Nottingham. He eloped with the village beauty, Millicent Reckless, whereupon his family disowned him. He took the opportunity of emigrating to S. Africa. His grandson, George Thomas, married Sarah Helen Stead, who was descended from Lord Lovat, the last man to be beheaded in England. A daughter married a collateral descendant of Sir Walter Scott. The family has several most interesting relics."

I decided to test the theory and researched the direct descendants of Simon Fraser (The 11th Lord Lovat). At the time there were already several Steads in the database but their relationship to each other was unknown and I was trying to establish the relationship.

I did conclude that Sarah Helen Stead was not a direct descendant. She may, indeed, be a grand niece.

Simon Fraser, The 11th Lord Lovat, was indeed the last person to be beheaded in England. In a bizarre twist, a temporary stand erected for spectators to watch the beheading collapsed during the spectacle killing 20 spectators.

There are a very small number of records in this database but I put it in as a sense of history. I love coincidences - as it happens one of my umpteen great grandmother's children was the first person to be hanged in South Africa.

There are records of some 30 Stead family members who are no longer alive on this website. There are additional records of about 2100 living members of this family in the databases as well. The living records are available on request. (See the request link below)

The 30 Stead records may be seen here.

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