The name Stefen came to England
with the ancestors of the Stefen family in the Norman Conquest
of 1066. It comes from the ancient personal name Stephen,
meaning crown, wreath, or garland.
Early Origins of the Stefen family
The surname Stefen was 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.
Early History of the Stefen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stefen research.Another 208 words (15 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 Stefen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Stefen Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations
. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Stephens, Stevens, Stephen, Steven, Stiven and many more.
Early Notables of the Stefen family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Stephens of Finglas; Nathaniel Stephens (1589-1660), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1628 and 1653, supporter of the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War; John Stephens (1603-1679), an English politician who sat in the House... Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stefen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Stefen family to Ireland
Some of the Stefen family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 131 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Stefen family to the New World and Oceana
Because of the political and religious discontent in England
, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Stefen name or one of its variants:
Stefen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Johan Stefen, who sailed to New York in 1660
Stefen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Johann Stefen and his wife, Christine Ahlbeck, who arrived in America with their five young children in 1843