This interesting medieval surname, with some twenty nameholders recorded in the British "Dictionary of National Biography", is one of the patronymic forms of the personal name "Steven or Stephen". This name of ancient Greek origins, dates from the pre-Christian period, and translates as "The Crown", a meaning which no doubt contributed to its popularity over the many centuries. It first became really popular in Northern Europe during and after the famous "Crusades" to the Holy Land in the 11th and 12th centuries, when soldiers returning from these wars gave their children Hebrew and Greek names in honour of their fathers achievements. Early examples of the name were found in England before the 10th Century, but only as monk's names, and as such is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in its Latin form of "Stephanus". Stephanus was the name borne by the first Christian martyr. In Scotland, "Stevenson" is first recorded in 1388, when one John Steywynson was one of the surveyors of the Marches of Woodwrae, whilst later in 1454 another John Stevenson was a merchant in Aberdeen. Early English church registers recordings include those of Beatrice Stevenson, who was christened on December 20th 1558, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, and Annes Stevenson, who was christened on March 7th 1568, at Christ Church Greyfriars, London. The name was immortalised by Robert Louis Stevenson, who died in Samoa in 1894 The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Adam Steveneson, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls" of the county of Essex, during the reign of King Edward 111 of England, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377.
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