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Stidhams* Buried at Old Swedes Church

Holy Trinity (Old Swedes) Church was built in 1699 and is on record as the oldest church in continuous use in the United States. The earliest known Stidham* buried on its grounds is Elizabeth Stedham (d. 9 Nov 1717; no headstone), wife of Hindric Stedham, though there is undoubtedly
many more lying anonymously throughout the graveyard and unknown to us today due to the erosion of markers such as wood or other perisable materials, and incomplete record keeping by the early church pastors.

The family’s patriarch, Dr. Timen Stiddem, died in 1686, 13 years before this church and its location were established and is more than likely not buried anywhere on the grounds. The exception would be if his body was moved here many years after his death from one of three more likely burial
locations: 1. The earlier Crane Hook Church burying ground; 2. The Stidham burying ground near the old Crane Hook Church; 3. On the grounds of his old homestead near 14th and Poplar Streets in Old Wilmington, which today no longer exists.

Of the 64 known Stidhams* buried there, 24 are Stedhams, but only four have existing headstones with burial locations known, the remaining are not on the master plot plan; 40 are Stidhams, and all but two having existing headstones and known burial locations. It is assumed that all Stidhams* listed are either descendants of Timen Stiddem, or married to someone who was and took on the Stidham* name at marriage, yet there’s many buried here that we aren’t exactly sure as to where they fit into the family tree. Where we are certain as to the identity of individuals listed, the number in brackets accompanying their name signifies that person’s descendant number from the book, The Descendants of Dr. Timothy Stidham, Vol. 1, by Jack Stidham, 2001.

The Timen Stiddem Society is a life member of the Old Swedes Foundation and has a young tree planted on the grounds in memory of the society, as noted on a plaque at its base.

The Timen Stiddem Society is a life member of the Old Swedes Foundation and has a young tree planted on the grounds in memory of the society, as noted on a plaque at its base.

Read the full article, "Hallowed Ground," in Issue #45.