Show ContentsSteenson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Steenson family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The family name comes from Steven, and means son of Steven, a variant of Stephen, which meant crown or garland. 1 This personal name was popular throughout Christian Europe during the Middle Ages, mostly due to St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The name was Gaelicized as Mac Stiofáin.

Early Origins of the Steenson family

The surname Steenson was first found in Northumberland, where they were established since the early Middle Ages at Knaresdale Hall, and at Newcastle on Tyne. By 1150, they had moved north to Scotland in the parish of Newlands in Peebles (now part of the Strathclyde and Border regions), where Stevene Stevenson swore an oath of allegiance (recorded on the Ragman Rolls) to King Edward I of England during the latter's brief conquest of Scotland in 1296. Another early Scottish record of this surname dates back to 1372, when one Nichol fiz ('son of') Steven, chaplain of Scotland, was given a license to take shipping at London or Dovorre. 2

The name is "confined for the most part to the northern half of England, being especially frequent in county Durham, and afterwards in the North and East Ridings and Northumberland. It is also well established in Lincolnshire, and has made a substantial advance into the midlands as far as Warwickshire. Strangely enough it has an independent home in Sussex and Berks, where Stevens is also common. Generally speaking, however, it is absent or rare in the southern part of England, where its place is supplied by Stephens and Stevens. The Stevensons extend in force across the Scottish border, but do not usually reach beyond the Forth and the Clyde." 3

Early History of the Steenson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Steenson research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1388, 1454, 1455, 1477, 1479, 1505, 1548, 1580, 1594, 1781, 1848 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Steenson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Steenson Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Steenson include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include Stevenson, Stephenson, Stephinson, Stevenston, Steenson, Stenson, Steinson, Stinson, Stephenton, Stynson, Stevensint, Stevensynd, Stevensent, Stympson, Stevensend, Stevensant, Steanson, Stevensyn, Stephenston, Stephensyn, Stevinson, Stevensan, Stevensind, Stevensane, Stimpson and many more.

Early Notables of the Steenson family

More information is included under the topic Early Steenson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Steenson family to Ireland

Some of the Steenson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Steenson migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Steenson or a variant listed above:

Steenson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Steenson, who settled in Charles Town South Carolina in 1767
  • Ann Steenson, aged 19, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775 4
Steenson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Steenson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1866 4

Canada Steenson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Steenson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Steenson who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sesostris" departing 14th May 1847 from Londonderry, Ireland; the ship arrived on 24th June 1847 but he died on board 5

Australia Steenson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Steenson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alexander Steenson, (b. 1788), aged 35, Irish ploughman who was convicted in Antrim, Northern Ireland for life for larceny, transported aboard the "Castle Forbes" on 28th September 1823, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 6
  • Samuel Steenson, a farmer, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832

New Zealand Steenson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Steenson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Elenor Steenson, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Armstrong" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Steenson (post 1700) +

  • Molly Wright Steenson (b. 1971), American professor of design and historian of architecture and technology
  • The Right Reverend Monsignor Jeffrey Neil Steenson P.A. (b. 1952), American Roman Catholic Ordinary of a Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans
  • Brian Steenson (d. 1970), British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, he was killed while competing in the 1970 Isle of Man TT
  • Gerard Steenson (1957-1987), Irish Republican paramilitary activist
  • Gareth Steenson (b. 1984), Northern Irish rugby union player for the Exeter Chiefs
  • Steen Steenson Blicher (1782-1848), Danish poet

The Steenson Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Coelum non solum
Motto Translation: Heaven not earth

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 96)
  6. Convict Records of Australia. Retreived 2nd January 2021 from on Facebook