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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Stephen family come from? What is the English Stephen family crest and coat of arms? When did the Stephen family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Stephen family history?

Stephen is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Stephen comes from the ancient personal name Stephen, meaning crown, wreath, or garland.

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Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Stephen were recorded, including Stephens, Stevens, Stephen, Steven, Stiven and many more.

First found in Gloucestershire where they were descended from FitzStephen, a Breton knight who was conjecturally descended from Count Stephen of Brittany and accompanied William the Conqueror into England and fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. There was of course, King Stephen (circa 1097-1154,) king of England (1135-54); he was the son of Stephen, count of Blois and Chartres.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stephen research. Another 183 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1805, 1589, 1660, 1628, 1653, 1603, 1679, 1645, 1660, 1683, 1656, 1659, 1647, 1718, 1629, 1669, 1667, 1669 and are included under the topic Early Stephen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 195 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stephen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Stephen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Stephen arrived in North America very early:

Stephen Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • D. Stephen who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • John Stephen, who arrived in Maryland in 1638
  • Ro Stephen, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • William Stephen, who landed in Virginia in 1653
  • William Stephen who settled in Virginia in 1653


Stephen Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Stephen, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • A Maria Stephen, who landed in America in 1716
  • Anne Stephen, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Ulrich Stephen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Baeba Stephen, aged 20, landed in Pennsylvania in 1732


Stephen Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Stephen, aged 39, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Sophia Stephen, aged 7, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1832
  • Thomas Stephen, aged 45, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832
  • Mickel Stephen, aged 20, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832
  • Marblin Stephen, aged 18, arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832


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  • Sir James Fitz Stephen (1829-1894), English jurist and journalist
  • Susan Stephen (1931-2000), English film actress
  • Sir Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), British writer and editor
  • Sir Ninian Stephen KG, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QC (b. 1923), Australian (English born) judge and 20th Governor-General of Australia (19821989)
  • Nicol Ross Stephen (b. 1960), Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeen South


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  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Stephen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Stephen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 February 2014 at 00:07.

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