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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: German, Italian

The German name Stefan, was formed from the given name Steffen, which comes from the Greek "Stephanos," meaning "crown." Versions of this name are numerous throughout Christian Europe due to the martyr St. Steven.


The surname Stefan was first found in Prussia, where the name gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging feudal society that would shape Europe. It later became more prominent as many branches of the house migrated and acquired foreign estates, some in such distant lands as Utrecht in Holland. Members of this family constantly improved their social status through their great contributions to society.

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Stefan include Steffens, Stefens, Steven, Stefan, Steffan, Steffe, Steffen, Stephan, Stoffen, Steffl, Steffensen, Stephansen, Stilfens, Stilphen, Stilphens and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stefan research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1616, 1773, 1811, 1832, 1842, 1845, and 1859 are included under the topic Early Stefan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent bearers of the family name Stefan during this time period were Johann Steffens (1560-1616), a German composer, who wrote German madrigals and dance-songs, as well as sacred and instrumental pieces. Also notable was Henrik Steffens (1773-1845), a German author-philosopher of Norwegian extraction, who moved to Germany after his...

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stefan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The state of Prussia was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Stefans to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Stefan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Johan Jacob Stefan came to Pennsylvania in 1738

Stefan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Bernard Stefan, who came to New York, NY in 1833
  • Martin Stefan, who arrived in America in 1856
  • Catharin Stefan, who came to New York, NY in 1867
  • Christine Stefan, who arrived in America in 1869

Stefan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Eleanora Stefan, who came to New York in 1903

Stefan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Adam Stefan, who arrived in Newfoundland in 1777

  • Karl Stefan (1884-1951), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Nebraska 3rd District, 1935-51
  • Arndt Stefan (b. 1961), German film producer
  • Ulm Stefan (b. 1975), German sprint canoer
  • Legein Stefan (b. 1988), Canadian professional ice hockey right winger
  • Gregory Steven Stefan (b. 1961), Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender
  • Patrik Štefan (b. 1980), Czech retired professional ice hockey player
  • Joseph Stefan, American banking executive, who served with distinction in World War II and was awarded the Decorated Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster and valor device, the Purple Heart and the Croix de Guerre (France)
  • Josepf Stefan (1835-1893), Austrian physicist, who was professor of physics at Vienna University. He discovered the fundamental law of radiation, known as Stefan's Law

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    Other References

    1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    2. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
    3. Neubecker, Ottfried. Wappen-Bilder-Lexikon der bürgerlichen Geschlechter Deutschlands, Oesterreichs und der Schweiz. Battenberg, München: 1985. Print.
    4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    5. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
    6. Götze, Alfred. Familiennamen im badischen Oberland. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1918. Print.
    7. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
    8. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
    9. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
    10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    11. ...

    The Stefan Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Stefan 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 21 October 2015 at 11:37.

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