Origin of the Name Stephens
The ancient history of the name Stephens
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Stephens is a baptismal name meaning 'son of Stephan', a name of great antiquity. Variants include Stephen, Stephenson, Stephan, Stevens, Stevenson, Steavenson and Stennett. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in the above countries. Examples of such are a Gilbert fil Stephani, County Lincolnshire, and a Richard Stephen, County Oxfordshire, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. An Anthony Stevens, County Wiltshire, was registered in the University of Oxford, in the year 1600. An Alexander Stevyn was a tenant of Glenboy, Scotland, in the year 1472, and a John Stevenson was a merchant in Aberdeen, Scotland, in the year 1454. The name was introduced by the Normans, with whom it was a great favorite, its use due to Christian tradition.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The variants Steenson and Stinson are also well known in Ulster.
The Stephens coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Stephens descendants.