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

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

Stephens is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Stephens family name comes from the ancient personal name Stephen, meaning crown, wreath, or garland.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Stephens have been found, 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stephens 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 Stephens History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Stephens 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.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Stephens were among those contributors:

Stephens Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Stephens, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Philipp Stephens, aged 28, arrived in St Christopher in 1634
  • John Stephens who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Tho Stephens, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Phillipp Stephens, who landed in Virginia in 1636

Stephens Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Guian Stephens, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1700-1701
  • Grace Stephens, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Hannah Stephens, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Nicholas Stephens, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1712
  • Edwd Stephens, who landed in Virginia in 1713

Stephens Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh Stephens, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Mary Stephens, who landed in America in 1805
  • Edward Stephens, who landed in America in 1809
  • Elnor Stephens, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Thomas Stephens, who landed in New York, NY in 1811


  • Alexander Hamilton Stephens (1812-1883), American political leader, Confederate vice president (1861-65)
  • Ann Spphia Stephens (1813-1886), American novelist and magazine editor
  • Clara Stephens (1870-1907), birth name Clara Bloodgood, American stage actress
  • George Washington Stephens (1832-1904), American-born, Canadian businessman, lawyer, and politician
  • George Francis "Frank" Stephens (1859-1953), American sculptor
  • Henry Louis Stephens (1824-1882), American illustrator
  • Helen Stephens (1918-1994), American two-time gold medalist at the 1936 Summer Olympics
  • Hubert D. Stephens (1875-1946), American politician, United States Senator for Mississippi (1923 to 1935)
  • John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852), American explorer and diplomat, best known as for his rediscovery of Maya civilization
  • Sir Philip Stephens (1723-1809), 1st Baronet, British First Secretary of the Admiralty during the American Revolution



  • John Steevens of Guilford, Connecticut by Claude W. Barlow.
  • Stephens-Stevens and Stevenson-Stephenson by A. Maxim Coppage.

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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Stephens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Stephens 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 20 July 2014 at 15:36.

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