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245,833 Stephens members around the world

Family spelling variants includes Stevenson, Stephenson, Steen, Stevens, Stiven, Stephan, Steven

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Stephens Family History

This is a patronymic surname, meaning 'the son of Steven or Stephen', a personal name which derives from the Greek 'stephanos' meaning 'crown'.

Stephen was a popular name in the Middle Ages having been borne by the first Christian martyr. It was first recorded in England in its latinized form 'Stefanus' on the Domesday Book of 1086. Surnames which developed from Stephen first appeared in the latter half of the 13th Century and include, on the Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire a Robert Stephen (in 1260) and Agnes Stiven (in 1279).

Variants of the surname include Steven, Stephan, Stiven, Stevens, Stephenson, Stevenson, and Steen.

Most instances of the Stephens surname appear in southern England, including Cornwall, Herefordshire and Sussex, as well as, to a slightly lesser extent, in parts of mid and south Wales. In the north of England and in Scotland, Stephenson and Stevenson are more popular versions of the surname.

In 1881, most Stephens/Stevens family members worked as farmers, agricultural and general labourers and some worked as coal miners, especially in south Wales. The surname was particular prevalent in Cornwall (where many worked as tin miners), Devon and Nottinghamshire.

Notable people

  • George Stephens (1813-1895) was a British archaeologist and philologist who interpreted runic inscriptions, particularly in Scandinavia. Originally from England, he moved to Sweden to study Scandinavian medieval folklore. He was also a lecturer in English at the Copenhagen University in Denmark.
  • Henry Stephens (b. 1791) was a Cornish settler convicted on 16 February 1826 in Launceston, Cornwall. He was sentenced for 14 years for receiving stolen goods and was transported aboard the ship 'Chapman' on 10 April 1826 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia.


1881, 1891 Census

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain

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Glenn Stephens

looking for my past Family members tree

Buzz Stevens

Trying to determine where my Stephens Ancestor came from. My DNA results came in as R-ZP112. Would love to compare with anyone who tested the same.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Stephens name has a long history in British Isles, but now DNA and some recorded history says their origin is from the Emerald Island. The Stephens story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B2] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Stephens surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O’)Donnelly, McDonald and Donohue in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Stephens story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. An ancestor and many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


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