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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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.
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. Stephen FitzAirard was the captain of the "Mora," the ship which brought William the Conqueror over from Normandy. His son was Thomas FitzStephen (died 1120) who was captain of the ill-fated White Ship (la Blanche-Nef), which sank off Barfleur, Normandy, on 25 November 1120. There was of course, King Stephen (c. 1097-1154,) King of England (1135-1154); he was the son of Stephen, Count of Blois and Chartres. Robert FitzStephen (d.1183) was a Welsh soldier of Norman descent and one of the leaders of the Norman invasion of Ireland. William Fitzstephen (fitz Stephen) (died c. 1191) was a cleric and administrator in the service of Thomas Becket.
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 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Stephen History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 195 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stephen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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.
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 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 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 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
Stephen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- George Milner Stephen arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846
- Hannah Stephen, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion"
- Andrew Stephen, aged 24, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon"
- Thomas Stephen, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge"
- Mary Stephen, aged 45, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Prowse"
Stephen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Richard Stephen, aged 37, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
- Ann Stephen, aged 35, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
- Eliza Stephen, aged 8, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
- John Stephen, aged 5, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
- Ann Stephen, aged 2, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
- Mr. Thomas Ohan Stephen, American 3rd Class passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
- Joseph D. Stephen, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Franklin County, 1958
- John Stephen, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Maryland, 1806-10; Presidential Elector for Maryland, 1812, 1816, 1820
- James Barnett Stephen, American politician, Member of South Carolina State Senate 4th District, 1969-76
- James Stephen, American politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives, 1913
- Alan Stephen, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Indiana, 1972
- Susan Stephen (1931-2000), English film actress
- Sir James Fitz Stephen (1829-1894), English jurist and journalist
- Nicol Ross Stephen (b. 1960), Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeen South
- Sir Ninian Stephen KG, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QC (b. 1923), Australian (English born) judge and 20th Governor-General of Australia (1982–1989)
- Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
- Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
- Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
- Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
- Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
- Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
- Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
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 9 November 2015 at 11:03.
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