Stevens History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Stevens is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The name Stevens came from the ancient personal name Stephen, meaning crown, wreath, or garland.

"This name was introduced into Britain by the Normans, with whom it was a favorite. Although found occasionally in England before 1066 its use then was due really to Christian tradition, Stephen (Stephanos) having been the first Christian martyr after Christ." [1]

"This scripture name, like many others, was not introduced here until the Norman Conquest, after which we find it in the form of Fitz-Stephen. It occupies a large place among our surnames in the usual genitive forms of Stephens. Stevens, Steevens, Stephenson, Stevenson." [2]

Early Origins of the Stevens family

The surname Stevens 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, Thomas FitzStephen (died 1120) 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.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Gilbert filius Stephani, Lincolnshire; Jordan filius Stephani, Essex; and Richard Stephen, Oxfordshire. Note the Stephani spelling was the Latin form of the name [3]

The name is "mostly confined south of a line drawn west from the Wash, being represented in the counties north of that line by Stephenson and Stevenson. Its great home is in Cornwall, and there are secondary centres in Sussex, and in South Wales and in the adjoining English county of Hereford. The name is said to have been introduced after the Conquest. In Cornwall it is of very ancient date, as is evidenced by the family of Stephens of Tregeuna, who, according to Lower, are the descendants of the Stephyns of St. Ives in the. reign of Edward IV., their name being written then in the singular." [4]

In Scotland, "Ada filius Stephani was burgess of Elgin in 1286 (REM., 221), Henricus Stephani had a charter of land in Ayr in 1409 (Friars Ayr, p. 43), William Stephani appears as rector of the church of Lestalric in 1418 (CMN., 28), John Stephani was burgess of Forfar in 1434 (RAA., II, 71) and witness in Brechin in 1435. Nichol fitz Steven, chaplain of Scotland, had license to take shipping at London or Dovorre at pleasure in 1372 " [1]

Early History of the Stevens family

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

Stevens Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Stevens has been recorded under many different variations, including Stephens, Stevens, Stephen, Steven, Stiven and many more.

Early Notables of the Stevens 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 Stevens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stevens World Ranking

In the United States, the name Stevens is the 127th most popular surname with an estimated 174,090 people with that name. [5] However, in Canada, the name Stevens is ranked the 218th most popular surname with an estimated 18,082 people with that name. [6] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Stevens is the 738th popular surname with an estimated 58 people with that name. [7] Australia ranks Stevens as 87th with 27,402 people. [8] New Zealand ranks Stevens as 96th with 4,074 people. [9] The United Kingdom ranks Stevens as 101st with 47,493 people. [10] Netherlands ranks Stevens as 120th with 8,788 people. [11] South Africa ranks Stevens as 475th with 14,976 people. [12]

Ireland Migration of the Stevens family to Ireland

Some of the Stevens 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 Stevens migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Stevenss were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Stevens Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Stevens, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [13]
  • Henry Stevens, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1637 [13]
  • Nicholas Stevens, who arrived in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1646 [13]
  • Ann Stevens, who landed in Maryland in 1650 [13]
  • Anne Stevens, who landed in Maryland in 1650 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stevens Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Timothy Stevens, who arrived in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1708 [13]
  • Hannah Stevens, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [13]
  • Rob Stevens, who landed in South Carolina in 1722 [13]
  • Peter Stevens, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [13]
  • Jonathan Stevens, who arrived in New York in 1755 [13]
Stevens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John J Stevens, aged 23, who landed in New York in 1812 [13]
  • James, Stevens Jr., aged 24, who landed in New Jersey in 1812 [13]
  • Honor Stevens, who arrived in New York in 1825 [13]
  • Benjamin Stevens, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1833 [13]
  • Corbit Stevens, who landed in Texas in 1835 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Stevens migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Stevens Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Stevens, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Stevens, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Margaret Stevens, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mary Stevens, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Natha Stevens, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Stevens Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Russel S Stevens, who arrived in Canada in 1828
  • Hampson Stevens, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • George Stevens, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Ann Stevens, aged 26, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Christ. Stevens, aged 6, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Stevens migration to Australia +

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

Stevens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Stevens, (b. 1778), aged 22, English house keeper who was convicted in Somerset, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1839 [14]
  • Thomas Stevens, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. William Stevens, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asiatic" on 5th June 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • William Stevens, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • John Stevens, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Stevens 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:

Stevens Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Stevens, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Hopkins Stevens, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Stevens, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • James Stevens, aged 25, a smith, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Margaret Stevens, aged 26, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Stevens migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [19]
Stevens Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Judith Stevens, aged 19, who arrived in St Christopher in 1634 [13]
  • Mr. Edward Stevens, (b. 1582), aged 53, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [20]
  • John Stevens, who settled in Barbados in 1640
  • John Stevens, who settled in Jamaica in 1684

Contemporary Notables of the name Stevens (post 1700) +

  • Roger Lacey Stevens (1910-1998), American theatrical producer, arts administrator, and real estate executive, founding Chairman of both the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (1961), and National Endowment for the Arts (1965), recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • John Paul Stevens (1920-2019), American jurist, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1975-2010), recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Benjamin Aavan Stevens (1959-2022), American politician and political advisor, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Alaska (2019-2021), President of the Alaska Senate (2005-2007)
  • Charles Augustus "Chuck" Stevens Jr. (1918-2018), American Major League Baseball first baseman who played for the St. Louis Browns (1941, 1946 and 1948)
  • Morgan Stevens (1951-2022), American actor from Knoxville, Tennessee, known for Fame (1982), A Year in the Life (1987) and Bare Essence (1983)
  • Thomas Howard "Tom" Stevens (1956-2021), American bassist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, known for his work with the Paisley Underground and the Long Ryders
  • John Shorter Stevens (1933-2019), American politician and lawyer from Asheville, North Carolina
  • Rick Stevens (d. 2017), American R&B singer for the Tower of Power
  • Michael Stevens (1966-2015), American six-time Primetime Emmy Award winning producer, writer and director, known for The Thin Red Line (1998), Thurgood (2011) and Herblock: The Black & the White (2013)
  • John Christopher "Chris" Stevens (b. 1960), American diplomat and lawyer, U.S. Ambassador to Libya in 2012 when he was killed in the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012
  • ... (Another 29 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Kip L Stevens (1959-1985), American Second Lieutenant from Clarksville, Tennessee, USA who died in the Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash [21]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Sarah  Stevens (1843-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion (1917) [22]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Horace John Stevens (1906-1941), Australian Bandsman from Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [23]
HMS Cornwall
  • Maurice Edward Stevens, British Sick Berth Attendant aboard the HMS Cornwall (1942) when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [24]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Joseph Stevens, British Stoker 2nd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and died in the sinking [25]
  • Mr. Stevens, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [25]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Reginald George Stevens, British Leading Cook "S", who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Edward F Stevens, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [26]
  • Mr. George Stevens (b. 1909), English Chief Petty Officer from Mannamead, Plymouth, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [26]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Thomas B. Stevens, British Petty Officer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [27]
  • Harold John Stevens (1903-1939), British Chief Petty Officer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [27]
Pemberton Mill
  • Miss Celia A. Stevens, factory worker in the Pemberton Mill on 10th January 1860 when the mill collapsed trapping 900 workers as rescue attempts continued into the night, an oil lantern was knocked over further engulfing the trapped workers in fire, she died
Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. Richard Stevens (b. 1844), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [28]
  • Mr. John Stevens (b. 1862), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [28]
  • Mr. Frederick Stevens (b. 1864), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [28]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John Stevens, English Ex Chief Officer from St. Ives, Cornwall, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking and was recovered [29]
  • Mr. George Stevens, English 3rd Class passenger residing in Olean, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [30]
  • Mr. Charles Henry Stevens, American 2nd Class passenger from Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking and was recovered [30]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Theodore R. Stevens, American Aviation Machinist's Mate Second Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [31]
  • Mr. Jack Hazelip Stevens, American Seaman First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [31]


Suggested Readings for the name Stevens +

  • Stevens & Anderson Kinsmen of American Descendant by J.B. Bell.
  • The Stevens Tree by Joe M. Clark.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  7. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  10. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  11. ^ https://forebears.io/netherlands/surnames
  12. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  13. ^ 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)
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  15. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  17. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  18. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  21. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  22. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  23. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  24. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  25. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  26. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  27. ^ 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
  28. ^ Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20120603025705/http://www.crosskeys.me.uk/history/prince.htm
  29. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  30. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  31. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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