Stevens / Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Stevens is a baptismal name meaning 'son of Stephan', a name of great antiquity. Variants include Stephen, Stephens, Stephenson, Stephan, Stevenson and Steveson. 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. Alexander Stevyn was a tenant of Glenboy, Scotland, in the year 1472.
Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired land by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. It was by the method of creating and updating these old reference books that they were able to maintain their authority and enforce laws.
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. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that 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.
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Stevens