Stevens' Ancestry Page

"Remember the days of old, Consider the generations long past. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you." Moses, Deut 32:7
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Stevens Family History

The Family Crest

The crest to the left is a picture of a 3D crest that is hanging in the entry way of Chavenage Hall in England. Chavenage was built by Edward Stephens, one of the Stevens ancestors. (see below for more details) The crest on the right is a recent artist rendering from the text description. The description states that the eagles (gold color) are taking off. The crest to the right looks to me like they're landing. 

This crest to the left is a stone carving on the tomb of Edward Stephens. Note: the right wing seems to be taking off and the left wing seems to be landing! One of each! The crest on the right used to be painted on the wall in Eastington church in England. Note the bottom half was painted black. What's with that?  The maltese cross was an indication that someone from the family served in the war.

This crest (to the right) is a quartered arms used by Thomas Stephens. It represents the Stephens and the Fowler families. (He was the son of Edward Stephens and Joan Fowler.) Note the gold eagles on the solid blue background. The bottom is silver in color. This I believe is the more authentic representation of the Stephens crest eagles. Also note the eagle on top of the helmet. This crest  is on a beautiful memorial found in the church of Stroud, England.

The Stevens family of today derives it's name from the first christian martyr Saint Stephen. The name is Greek and suggests Stephen was a Hellenist, i.e., one of those Jews who had been born in some foreign land and whose native tongue was Greek; according to a fifth century tradition, the name Stephanos was only a Greek equivalent for the Aramaic Kelil (Syr. kelila, crown), which may be Stephen's original name and was inscribed on a slab found in his tomb. For centuries the location of St. Stephen's tomb was lost sight of, until (415) a certain priest named Lucian learned by revelation that the sacred body was in Caphar Gamala, some distance to the north of Jerusalem. The relics were then exhumed and carried first to the church of Mount Sion, then, in 460, to the basilica erected by Eudocia outside the Damascus Gate, on the spot where, according to tradition, the stoning had taken place (the opinion that the scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom was east of Jerusalem, near the Gate called since St. Stephen's Gate, is unheard of until the twelfth century). The site of the Eudocian basilica was identified some twenty years ago, and a new edifice has been erected on the old foundations by the Dominican Fathers.

By the turn of the first milenium the family name was Fitz Stephen which means the Son of Stephen. Whether they were true decendants of the saint or if they adopted the name in honor of him will probably never be known, but in all likelihood it was probably the later. The name, over a period, became Fitz Stephens then Stephens When the family emigrated to America the spelling was changed to Stevens.


The Stevens Family came to England in 1066 from Normandy (now a part of France). They earliest known Stevens ancestor was Airard Fitz-Stephen who was the captain of the ship Mora, the ship that William the Conqueror took to england for the invasion. After the invasion, a tapestry was commisioned in Bayeux France to commemorate the invasion. The part you see here is the section that shows Airaird Fitz-Stephen piloting the ship (The one with the cross on top) with William The Conqueror standing at the mast.

To see the entire tapestry <click here>. 

To see more information about the Norman Invasion (also known as the battle of Hastings) <click here>.

The Fitz Stephen family, became feudal barons in the county of Gloucestershire (Northwest of Bristol) from the reign of Henry II. They held positions of Sheriff and were Members of Parliment during this time. In the sixteenth century they were a family of wealth and influence in the county with estates at Eastington, Chavenage, Lypiatt, Cherington, Lyegrove (recently owned by the Earl of Westmorland) and Little Sodbury.


After the family had been in England five-hundred years Edward Stephens built an Elizabethan manor in 1576 near Tetbury called Chavenage. The manor still stands on much of the estate and is now owned by the Lowsley-Williams family.

This is how the house appeared on my first visit in 1993. The right side of the house was still in use by the owners and the left side of the house is available to tour. It contains two rooms complete with tapestrys on all four walls floor to ceiling. 

NEW!  For a Photo Gallery of Chavenage Hall Click Here!

You can visit Chavenage and get a tour! For information on Chavenage <click here.> Wouldn't it be cool to rent Chavenage for a family reunion? Elizabethan manors were built in honor of Queen Elizabeth I. The building was shaped in the form of an 'E'. Note the two wings on either side and the small front door entrance in the middle.

Click Here for Ancestry List of Revillo O. Stevens

Click Here for the Photo Gallery for the R.O. Stevens Family


GENEALOGICAL LIBRARY OF BOOKS PERTAINING TO THE FAMILY

Stevens Genealogy. Some Decendants of the Fitz Stephen Family in England and New England
by Dr. C. Ellis Stevens, L.L.D., D.C.L. This book traces the Stevens/ stephens/Fitz-Stephens line all the way back to 1060!
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The Stevens Genealogy by Dr. Elvira Stevens Barney, MD
This book list many Stevens families from New England
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A Genealogy of the Lineal Descendants of John Steevens Who Settled in Guildford, Conn. in 1645
by Charlotte Steevens Holmes 1906. This book doubts the English ancestry listed in Dr. Ellis Stevens book.
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Genealogy of the Stevens and Tripp and allied families from 1520 to 1906
by Mary Stevens Graston 1906 This book starts out with the Fitz Stephens especially Henry born in Cornwall abt 1520
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The History of Guilford Connecticutt (1877)
by Smith, Ralph Dunning. This book documents that John Stephens and two sons emigrated to CT wlong with the Fowler family.
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