Show ContentsSteffen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German name Steffen, 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.

Early Origins of the Steffen family

The surname Steffen 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.

Early History of the Steffen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Steffen research. Another 111 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1560, 1616, 1773, 1811, 1832, 1842, 1845 and 1859 are included under the topic Early Steffen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Steffen Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Steffen include Steffens, Stefens, Steven, Stefan, Steffan, Steffe, Steffen, Stephan, Stoffen, Steffl, Steffensen, Stephansen, Stilfens, Stilphen, Stilphens and many more.

Early Notables of the Steffen family

Notable figures of the time with the name Steffen 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 controversial lectures at the University of Copenhagen earned him the...
  • Steffens fought for the German army during the Napoleonic Wars and served as professor of physics at Breslau (1811-1832) and at Berlin (1832-1845)...
  • Theories of Henrik Steffens greatly influenced the thinking of Schelling and Schleiermacher...

Steffen Ranking

In the United States, the name Steffen is the 3,791st most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Steffen is ranked the 5,888th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [2]

United States Steffen migration to the United States +

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 Steffens to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Steffen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Johan Steffen, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1660 [3]
Steffen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • J. Steffen, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Philip Steffen, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737 [3]
  • Johan Jacob Steffen, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [3]
  • Johann Adam Steffen, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750 [3]
  • Margaretha Steffen, who landed in America in 1758 [3]
Steffen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Maria Jul Steffen, who landed in Brazil in 1828 [3]
  • Miss Steffen, who arrived in Brazil in 1828 [3]
  • Mr. Steffen, who landed in America in 1839 [3]
  • Johann Steffen, aged 50, who landed in America in 1843 [3]
  • Gert Steffen, who arrived in America in 1844 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Steffen (post 1700) +

  • Walter Steffen (1886-1937), American professional football player, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969
  • Otto Steffen (b. 1874), American Olympic sliver medalist in gymnastics at the 1904 games [4]
  • Jim Steffen (b. 1936), American professional NFL football player
  • Alex Steffen (b. 1968), American writer and environmental futurist
  • Theodore Nicholas Steffen (b. 1929), American surgeon, who rose to the rank of captain with the Medical Corps in the United States Army
  • Vincent B. Steffen, American politician, Speaker of the Iowa State House of Representatives, 1965-66 [5]
  • Roscoe B. Turner Steffen (1893-1976), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Hamden, 1932, 1934 [5]
  • John Steffen (b. 1868), American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 12th District, 1915-18. German ancestry [5]
  • Beverly Steffen, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oregon, 1964 [5]
  • A. H. Steffen, American politician, Mayor of Norfolk, Nebraska, 1933 [5]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  • Hans Steffen (1921-1941), German Matrosengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [6]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Otto Steffen. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from
  6. Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from on Facebook