Keith Matthews Name Files record two references to a Richard Stephens in St. John’s and Conception Bay in 1706.
The earliest reference to a Stevens / Stephens in the Port de Grave region was in the Census of 1708. That year a Richard Stephens was reported as one of seven Port de Grave Boatkeeper Inhabitants. Stephens did not have a wife or children but had five servants and owned one of the three boats in the community. He also owned Train Vats (used for rendering Train oil from Whale Blubber, Seal blubber, or Seal/Cod liver oil).
The two spellings Stephens and Stevens appear to be used at different times by the same family living at Bareneed.
Other early references to these names in Newfoundland include:
A James Stephens is recorded in the 1805 Plantation Book as occupying property #8 at Bareneed. The property was recorded as as “gift from his Mother” granted in 1770.
Stephens property was situated in the western end of Bareneed and was bounded on the east by property owned by Filleul and on the west by Beecham (see Map below).
In the 1817 Census for Bareneed there were three families with the surname Stephens [later known as Stevens]:
- # 38 Samuel Stephens
- # 39 Benjamin Stephens &
- # 40 Hard Stephens,
The Church of England at Harbour Grace recorded the Baptism on 31 Jan., 1816 at Bear Need of Anne daughter of James & Mary Stevens; however, James is not listed in the Census of 1817. This would suggest that the three Stephens listed in 1817 were his sons (Note #40 transcribed as Hard might be Harold or Henry).
|38||Sam’l Stephens||1||1||4||Ths Bartlett||Distressed|
|40||Hard Stephens||1||1||2||John Moore||ditto|
The Following Rachel Stevens who died in 1828 could be the widow of one of the three Stephens listed in 1817.
|Rachel STEVENS, Bareneed, Widow.||80 years||Sept. 20, 1828|
There were only two Stephens listed in the 1835 Voters List for Bareneed one of which (Henry) is listed as living at Northern Gut.
|STEPHENS, James||Port de Grave||Bareneed|
|STEPHENS, Henry||Port de Grave||North Gut|
In the 1840 several Stevens men from Bareneed were married.
|Dec. 7, 1843||William STEVENS||Bachelor||Bareneed||Ruth BATTEN||Spinster||Bareneed|
Witness for above: John BATTEN, John BEAUCHAMP, Charles STEVENS
|Dec 6, 1849||Benjamin STEVENS||Bachelor||Bareneed||Ann BATTEN||Spinster||Bareneed|
Witnesses James Stevens, John Bartlett
Report Nfld. Church Society 1847 list John Stevens Bareneed and Lovell’s Directory for 1871 list the following:
The Bareneed Census for 1911 list 8 households headed by Stephens men.