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Stephens is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Stephens family name comes from the ancient personal name Stephen, meaning crown, wreath, or garland.

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The surname Stephens 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.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Stephens have been found, including Stephens, Stevens, Stephen, Steven, Stiven and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stephens research. Another 183 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1805, 1589, 1660, 1628, 1653, 1603, 1679, 1645, 1660, 1683, 1656, 1659, 1647, 1718, 1629, 1669, 1667 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Stephens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 Stephens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Stephens family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Stephens were among those contributors:

Stephens Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Stephens, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Philipp Stephens, aged 28, arrived in St Christopher in 1634
  • John Stephens who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Tho Stephens, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Phillipp Stephens, who landed in Virginia in 1636
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Stephens Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Guian Stephens, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1700-1701
  • Grace Stephens, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Hannah Stephens, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Nicholas Stephens, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1712
  • Edward Stephens, who landed in Virginia in 1713
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Stephens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh Stephens, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Mary Stephens, who landed in America in 1805
  • Edward Stephens, who landed in America in 1809
  • Elnor Stephens, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Thomas Stephens, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
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Stephens Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Stephens, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • William Stephens, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Stephens, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Alexanda Stephens U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 208 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Shadrach Stephens U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 resettled in Ontario in 1799 he served in the Prince of Wales Regiment [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
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Stephens Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Anne Stephens, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1820
  • Jane Stephens, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Mary Stephens, aged 12, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Abraham Stephens, aged 15, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
  • Catharine Stephens, aged 8, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Alchymist" from Falmouth, Cornwall, England
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Stephens Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • D Stephens, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Stephens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Frederick Stephens, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • George Stephens, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • Edwards Stephens, a spinner, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Stephen Stephens, a sawyer, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Stephens, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
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Stephens Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Stephens landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Alex Stephens landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Stephens, aged 50, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • John Stephens, aged 19, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Samuel Stephens arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
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  • Linda Canan Stephens, American Democrat politician, Member, Rules Committee, Democratic National Convention, 2008
  • Ambrose Everett Burnside Stephens (1862-1927), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Ohio 2nd District, 1919-27
  • Willis Stephens (b. 1955), U.S. politician
  • Woody Stephens (1913-1998), American Thoroughbred horse racing trainer
  • William Stephens (1859-1944), U.S. politician
  • Vern Stephens (1920-1968), U.S. baseball player
  • Uriah Smith Stephens (1821-1882), U.S. labor leader
  • Rockwell Stephens (1900-1982), American author and recreational skiing pioneer
  • Sir Philip Stephens (1723-1809), 1st Baronet, British First Secretary of the Admiralty during the American Revolution
  • John Lloyd Stephens (1805-1852), American explorer and diplomat, best known as for his rediscovery of Maya civilization
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Stephens Historic Events



Arrow Air Flight 1285

  • Mr. Dane Stephens (b. 1966), American Specialist 4th Class from Littleton, Colorado, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. John Stephens, British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Mr. John Stephens, British Greaser from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. Isaac James  Stephens (1845-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. George Stephens (1909-1941), Australian Acting Yeoman Of Signals from Rozelle, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. William Stephens, British Mechanician 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking
  • Mr. Evan Stephens, British Leading Cook, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Master John Harrison Chattan Stephens, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Montréal, Quebec, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Frances Stephens, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Montréal, Quebec, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
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  • John Steevens of Guilford, Connecticut by Claude W. Barlow.
  • Stephens-Stevens and Stevenson-Stephenson by A. Maxim Coppage.
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Citations



  1. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Stephens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Stephens 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 25 August 2016 at 10:47.

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