Sunday, December 20, 2009

Was Stinson Changed From Stevenson?

While we’re on the Scottish trail, here’s some information from cousin Charles Stinson who contacted the Scottish Ancestor Service in 2001. Charles received this letter from Mr. Brian Thompson, SSc, PhD, in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, dated March 10, 2001. It addresses the question I hear most often: did Stinson used to be Stevenson?

Dear Rev. Stinson,

Attached is the report on the records of all Alexander Steinson (and spelling variants) born and baptised in Scotland between 1700 and 1710.

The exact transcription of five of these Parish records is provided for those records in 1702 and 1703 as being nearest to the presumed date of your ancestor’s birth.

The information in them may help you make a judgement as to which one best fits your ancestor, either with family information you now know, or might glean in the future.

The surname Steinson is derived from an old spelling of Stevenson. It first appears in written records in Scotland when John Stenson is recorded as a burgess of Glasgow in 1455. Willie Stensone was a tenant under the Abbey of Kelso in 1567.

As can be seen from the 1700 records the name while never common, was not restricted geographically. Steinson families occurred in central Scotland in the counties of Ayr, Clackmannan and Peebles (Traquair) in the Borders, but with a particular concentration in the north-east county of Banff (Fordyce, Brechin, Deskford, Marnoch and Cullin parishes).

So, yes, it looks like Stinson was once Stevenson, but the change evolved long before Alexander came to Virginia.

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