Stephen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Stephen family

The surname Stephen 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 Stephen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stephen research. Another 211 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 Stephen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stephen Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Stephen 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 of Commons...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stephen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Stephen family to Ireland

Some of the Stephen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Stephen migration to the United States +

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 [1]
  • Ro Stephen, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [1]
  • William Stephen, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [1]
  • William Stephen who settled in Virginia in 1653
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stephen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Stephen, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [1]
  • A Maria Stephen, who landed in America in 1716 [1]
  • Anne Stephen, who arrived in Virginia in 1719 [1]
  • Ulrich Stephen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1727 [1]
  • Baeba Stephen, aged 20, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stephen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Stephen, aged 39, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Sophia Stephen, aged 7, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [1]
  • Thomas Stephen, aged 45, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [1]
  • Mickel Stephen, aged 20, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [1]
  • Marblin Stephen, aged 18, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1832 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Stephen migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stephen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Stephen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834

Australia Stephen migration to Australia +

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

Stephen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Stephen, Scottish convict who was convicted in Aberdeen, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • George Milner Stephen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 [3]
  • Hannah Stephen, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion" [4]
  • Andrew Stephen, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Oregon" [5]
  • Thomas Stephen, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Surge" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Stephen 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:

Stephen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Stephen, aged 37, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Ann Stephen, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Eliza Stephen, aged 8, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • John Stephen, aged 5, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • Ann Stephen, aged 2, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Westminster" in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Stephen (post 1700) +

  • George A. Stephen Sr. (1921-1993), American inventor, entrepreneur and the founder of Weber-Stephen Products Co., best known for their brand Weber charcoal and gas grills
  • Joseph D. Stephen, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Franklin County, 1958 [7]
  • John Stephen, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Maryland, 1806-10; Presidential Elector for Maryland, 1812, 1816, 1820 [7]
  • James Barnett Stephen, American politician, Member of South Carolina State Senate 4th District, 1969-76 [7]
  • James Stephen, American politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives, 1913 [7]
  • Alan Stephen, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Indiana, 1972 [7]
  • Sir James Fitzjames Stephen (1829-1894), English judge, born at Kensington on 3 March, the second son of Sir James Stephen (1789–1859)
  • James Stephen (1758-1832), English Master in Chancery, born at Poole in Dorset, the son of James Stephen, born about 1733
  • Sir George Stephen (1794-1879), English miscellaneous author, the fourth son of James Stephen (1758–1832)
  • Susan Stephen (1931-2000), English film actress
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Cornwall
  • Eric Berkeley Stephen (d. 1942), British Ordinary Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [8]
HMS Royal Oak
  • George P. Stephen, British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [9]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas Ohan Stephen, American 3rd Class passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [10]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846IsabellaWatson.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARION 1851 - HER HISTORY. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Marion.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The barque OREGON, 521 tons - 1851 voyage to South Australia. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Oregon.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURGE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/surge1852.shtml
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  9. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  10. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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