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Stevens Family History
This is a British surname, although of Greek origins. Introduced into England in particular after the famous Crusades of the 12th century, it is one of the patronymic forms of the male given name Steven or Stephen, deriving from the Greek word "stephanos" meaning "crown" or "wreath". In ancient Greece athletic champions were crowned with a wreath of laurels in recognition of their victories, and, no doubt, many victors would have named their sons Stephanos to commemorate their achievements. It was a popular name throughout Christendom in the Middle Ages, having been borne by the first Christian martyr.
Stevens: (Variants: Stephens, Stephans, Steffens, Stivens, Stevans)
Also interpreted as ‘The son of Steven’, an earlier form was ‘The son of Stephen’. Although, Stephen from Greek meaning ‘crown’, it is a cognate name in other European languages such as Stefan and Steffen and their derivatives.
William Fitzstephen (died c. 1191) was a cleric and administrator in the service of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1170, Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, which resides in the county of Kent. The conflict arose between Henry II, King of England over the rights and privileges of the Church.
In 1891 census, the total occurrences for England and Wales were 32,989 and 501 in Scotland. In 1881 census, the southern county of Kent was recorded as a top county for the surname with 3,597 occurrences.
In 1881, Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Stevens in the UK, with Agricultural Labourers being the most common occupation. A less common occupation was a Carpenter.
William Stevens, an English convict, was transported aboard the "Asia" on 3 September 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
A noted Neil Stevens (1887-1949), an American mycologist and plant pathologist. His research mainly concerned fungal diseases of crops such as chestnuts, strawberries, cranberries, currant, and corn.
Another, Emily Pitts Stevens (1841 – 1906) was an American activist, who was involved in the Temperance movement in the United States to curb the consumption of alcohol. She was also an early San Francisco suffragist and the editor and publisher of The Pioneer, the first women’s suffrage journal in the West Coast of the United States. Also, the co-founder of the California Women Suffrage Association.
More recently, Mr. Alan Martin Stevens O.B.E.,, British Chair for the Board of Trustees at Disability Rights, UK, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29 December 2018 for services to People with Multiple Sclerosis.
Another, Dr. Claire Lamorna Stevens C.B.E.,, British Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and President for British Society of Paediatric Dentistry, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Children by Her Majesty The Queen.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
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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