Show ContentsStepney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Stepney is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Stepney family lived in Pembrokeshire which is derived from the Old English word Stybbanhyp, meaning the dweller by the landing place.

Early Origins of the Stepney family

The surname Stepney was first found in Pembrokeshire at Prendergast. Alternatively, the name could have derived from Stepney, which is today a district of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in London's East End. The place dates back to c. 1000 where is was listed as Stybbanhythe and later in the Domesday Book it was listed as Stibanhede. In this latter case, the place name meant "landing place of a man called Stybba." [1]

Early History of the Stepney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stepney research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1621, 1618, 1676, 1640, 1643, 1663 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Stepney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stepney Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Stepney include Stepney, Stepny, Stepnie and others.

Early Notables of the Stepney family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Stepney, 1st Baronet; Sir John Stepney, 3rd Baronet (1618-ca.1676), a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1643, supporter of the Royalist side in the English Civil War; and George Stepney...
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stepney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stepney Ranking

In the United States, the name Stepney is the 12,311st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Stepney family to Ireland

Some of the Stepney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Stepney migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Stepneys to arrive on North American shores:

Stepney Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Stepney who settled in Virginia in 1610
  • Thomas Stepney, who landed in Virginia in 1610 [3]
  • Thomas Stepney, who settled in Virginia in 1624
  • Samuell Stepney, who settled in Virginia in 1670
Stepney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Stepney, who settled in Baltimore Maryland in 1775
Stepney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Stepney, who settled in New York in 1820

Australia Stepney migration to Australia +

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

Stepney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

New Zealand Stepney 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:

Stepney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jane Stepney, (b. 1846), aged 21, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Glenmark" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1867 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Stepney (post 1700) +

  • Lady Catherine Stepney (d. 1845), English novelist, daughter of Thomas Pollok, LL.D. (d. 1801), rector of Grittleton, Wiltshire
  • Susan Stepney, Professor of Computer Science, University of York
  • Charles Stepney (1931-1976), prominent as the in-house arranger at Chicago's Chess Records
  • William Stepney Rawson (1854-1932), British amateur footballer who played at full-back for England in the 1870s

The Stepney Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et vigilantia
Motto Translation: By faith and vigilance.

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. "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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  5. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook