Family Trees and Family Stories
 McKay/Stevens Genealogy Pages


The Stevens family on this page just includes the direct line to William Stevens. The extended Stevens family can be found by following the links in the right hand side column. The full list of William Stevens' descendants can be found here.

Click for a gallery of Stevens photos

The Stevens Family

The Stevens family origins are wrapped up in the mystery of William Stevens. What we know is that he was in Ohio in 1832 and later moved to Indiana where his family remained for four generations.

How We're Related

Robert Stevens married Doris Petersen in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on March 20, 1942. Why did Bob and Doris, who both grew up in Indiana get married in Mississippi? America had joined World War II on December 7, 1941 and Bob was going through U.S. Army training at Camp Shelby. On May 1 Bob was promoted to staff sergeant and he went on to officer training in Fort Benning, Georgia. Bob would be sent to other US bases in Tennessee and Maryland before being shipped to the Pacific. Read about Bob's return from Japan here.

When his parents moved to the West Coast in 1946, Bob and Doris stayed in South Bend and he worked for Studebaker like his father. Just before Studebaker shut its plant in South Bend in 1963, Bob switched to Mercedes Benz who had distributed their cars in North America through Studebaker dealerships. When Mercedes move their headquarters to New Jersey in 1965 Bob moved there and worked for them until he died of a heart attack in 1981 at age 63.

Studebaker photo

1950 Studebaker Champion


1965 Mercedes 220SE


William Park Stevens married Jeanette Lehman in Columbus, Indiana on June 12, 1912. The family spent four generations in the Columbus, Hope and Edinberg area in Southeastern Indiana, until my grandparent’s generation (William Park Stevens, the boy of 12 in the far right of the 1905 picture).

Like his father, he attended St. Bartholomew Catholic school but later graduated from Columbus high school.

His first job was with W.W. Mooney and Sons, a leather tannery in Columbus. William left Columbus in 1912 to work for Studebaker in Detroit, Michigan. He transferred to South Bend around 1926 to be at the Studebaker headquarters. He and his brother Albert moved to California, along with three of William’s children in 1946. William spent his career working for Studebaker in Detroit, South Bend, and Los Angeles where he died of a heart attack at age 61.


William Ambrose Stevens married Louise Wilson on February 25, 1889 in Columbus, Indiana. William, spent his entire life in Columbus, Indiana, and was a member of a prominent Catholic family there. He was a businessman and in government service.

He attended school at Columbus public schools and St. Bartholomew Catholic academy. He continued to attend St. Bartholomew church during his life. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a global Catholic fraternal service order.

He was the active member of the agricultural firm of F. M. Stevens & Son. During the economic downturn in 1897, they ran into legal problems associated with unpaid bills.

He was an admirer of Progressive Republican politics and named a son after Indiana Senator Albert Beveridge. At the age of twenty-four he was elected to a seat to the city council, serving in this position for three years.

He was recommended by the Republicans of Columbus for the appointment of post-master. He received his commission July 17, 1897. There was a bit of a political fight over his appointment when he was opposed by Joseph Irwin, a local banker, but he was ultimately approved. He held this post during the administrations of Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1918, he and his sons James and Albert worked together on a government warehouse project in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The family relocated there during the project.

For thirteen years he was deputy internal revenue collector for the Columbus district which included five counties. Late in life he started a private tax service.

William was interested in Civil War veterans. He helped organize the John S. Crump Camp, No. 32, Division of Indiana, Sons of Veterans, a fraternal organization that carried out educational, patriotic and philanthropic activities to preserve the history and legacy of Union Civil War veterans. He kept a list of all the veterans in the county.

He died of heart disease at age 68. It was not the first sign of heart trouble. He had had a heart attack five years earlier but luckily he was helping a local physician with his tax forms at the time and the man rendered first aid immediately.


Francis "Frank" Stevens married Kate Brown on May 27, 1865 in Columbus, Indiana. Frank had moved to Indiana from Ohio with his parents when he was two years old.

Frank was a Civil War veteran. He was a member of Company B, Sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, the first regiment sent into the Civil War from Indiana. He was the third soldier to sign the muster roll in Bartholomew county and served for three months.

For twenty-five years Frank was in the dry goods business with H. Griffith. In 1880 he formed a partnership in the farm implement business with William Lucas. When Mr. Lucas retired in 1884, Frank took on his son, William, as a partner.

He was a life-long Republican but held no official positions although he was elected Councilman. He was described as a leading Republican politician of Bartholomew county.

At one point William and his father Frank lived a few houses from each other on Mechanic St (now Lafayette Ave.). Frank Stevens lived out his life in Columbus in the house (pictured below) on Franklin St. William moved into the house after his father's death.

His obituary said that he was not affiliated with any church.

His death certificate in 1918 recorded the cause of death as carcinoma of the neck. He was listed as a retired farmer. He had been shown as a farmer on both the 1900 and 1910 census reports.


William Stevens married Nancy Simonton in 1832 in Clermont, Ohio. His children were born in Ohio before 1845. He moved his family to Iowa for some short time but was living in Columbus, Indiana and was working as a baker in 1850. Family stories have him working as a sheriff and losing a finger in a gunfight but I can find no evidence of that. He died in Columbus in 1857.

Continued in column 2...

The Stevens Patriarchy

(l to r) William Stevens, father of Frank Stevens, father of William A. Stevens, father of William P. Stevens, father of Robert L. Stevens





William Ambrose


William Park




Stevens Stories

In Search of William Stevens

I have been tracing the family genealogy for the past few years and part of that effort has been trying to get to the origins of William Stevens. Family tradition has it that he was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1800 and arrived in 1820 in North Carolina but US census and other documents have him reportedly born in Virginia in 1798 (1850 census) or Ohio in 1807 (LDS Family Search and son's death certificate).

So I turned to DNA to try to get more information. I took the Y-DNA test from Family Tree DNA and got some interesting but inconclusive results. This test looks specifically at the Y chromosome passed from father to son. So one would expect that when matches were found that they would be other people with the name Stevens (or Stephens, Stebbins, etc.). What turned up for my test were no other Stevens surnames. That could mean many things: last name changed at some point, adoption, illegitimate paternity, or other reasons.

I tracked down one of the names that shows a close relationship from this test. The last name was Allison and when I tracked back that family we seem to share a common ancestor in Theophilus Simonton, Nancy Simonton’s ggg-grandfather. They also lived in Rowan, North Carolina where Nancy Simonton's family had history. There are a number of Allisons married to Simontons. This could be just coincidence and it doesn’t say anything about how the Stevens’ and Allison’s might share a common ancestor in my paternal line. The y-DNA test with this Allison estimated the probability that he and I shared a common ancestor within the last six generations (i.e., William's father) was about 55%.

The Allisons and the Simontons lived in close proximity in Fourth Creek, North Carolina. One possible ancestor of William Stevens is Andrew Allison. Andrew Allison like his brothers Thomas and Robert settled on 640 acres of land each on Fourth Creek, Rowan County (later to become Iredell County) on Nov. 23, 1750, and received a grant of 480 acres on March 25 1752 same place. It is possible that Robert Allison sold his land to William Simonton in about 1756 or 1757 which was immediately adjacent to the Land that Robert Simonton bought in 1756, on Fourth Creek. Andrew was known as Squire Allison and was one of the first Magistrates of Rowan County in 1753. Andrew was High Sheriff of Rowan County for a time around 1768.

Another Allison possibility is the Allison branch that settled in South Carolina. One bit of circumstantial evidence is that Captain Robert Allison (Ellison) served with the famous Revolutionary War officer Francis Marion, also known as the Swamp Fox. William Stevens named his son, my great-great grandfather, Francis Marion Stevens.

The most likely Allison to be the father of William Stevens is Benjamin Allison (1783-1845). He is the grandfather of oldest known ancestor of my y-DNA match and his children show up as autosomal relatives in the DNA matches. Here you can compare the two people:

William Stevens and Benjamin Allison shows that I have a distant DNA relationship with a number of people that have Allison (or Ellison) ancestors in both lines. It is probable that both of these branches of the Allison family trace back to a common ancestor, John Allison born in Scotland in 1585.

None of this gives any definitive answer but it does raise some interesting questions. The most intriguing is that we might not have been Stevens for very long.

Tragedy in Pasadena

A Stevens image

Francis E. Stevens

Francis E. Stevens was the youngest of the three children of Frank and Kate Stevens. He was educated at Notre Dame and the University of Michigan and became a very successful banker. In late 1927 he was vice-president of the National Bank of Pasadena and had just completed a large Spanish-style home in the area. But all was not well for Frank. His had been quietly despairing for his sons’ futures. His youngest son George, 14, has been almost an invalid since birth. His older son Francis Jr. had been attending the University of Michigan when he was involved in an automobile accident that left him with a severe brain injury. He was living at a sanatorium in Pasadena with little hope of full recovery. On the morning of December 8 Frank Sr. picked up George from school and apparently drove to a secluded area and shot his son. He covered the body in the car and drove on to the sanitorium to see his other son. He and Frank Jr. walked out in the grounds and the father shot the son and then turned the gun on himself. Apparently from documents left behind, Frank had been planning this for quite a while.

One is reminded of the poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson published in 1897

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine, we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,

And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

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Links to the Extended Stevens Family


The Stevens family origins are wrapped up in the mystery of William Stevens. What we know is that he was in Ohio in 1832 and later moved to Indiana where his family remained for four generations.

The Lehman family is of Ashkenazi Jewish German origin and includes teachers and rabbis. Lewis Lehman immigrated to Columbus, Indiana in 1871.

The Dalmbert family can be traced back to their French-Jewish roots in the Alsace region of France. The immigrant was Adolph Dalmbert who came directly to Indiana in 1854.

Caroline Gottshalk is a link between the Lehmans and the Dalmberts. She married Joseph Dalmbert and was the mother of Adolph who immigrated to America and became a merchant in the Columbus, Indiana area. After Joseph died, Caroline remarried Isaak Lehmann whose son, Lewis, by a second wife after Caroline's death came to Columbus in 1871.

The earliest location for the Pessels/Besselsohn family is Fürth in northern Bavaria, Germany in the mid 19th century.

The Bruell/Brillin family can be traced back to a 17th century rabbi in Worms, Germany.

The Oppenheim(er) family was a very old family with branches throughout Europe.

The Bacharach family name comes from the town of this name on the Rhine. Together with Heidelberg, this had long been a major center of the Palatinate Jews.

The Hart family can be traced back to the Irish immigrant Patrick Hart. His descendants migrated west from Virginia to Indiana.

The Forelander progenitor in America, Lewis, is often described as having come from Holland but it seems more likely that he was from Ireland like Patrick Hart.

The Spahr family and many of the families that they married spent at least 250 years in the Württemberg region around Stuttgart, Germany before coming to the United States around 1750.

The Schnaeder family has Swiss/German roots.

The Ranck family may have had French Huguenot origins.

Ancestry beyond John Rollyson who lived in Monroe County, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1799 is unproven.

The Wilson family from the earliest arrival were Quakers with their American roots going back to the Delmarva peninsula along with Eyre and Nock families. Isaac broke the Quaker tradition and also was the first to strike out for the West in Tennessee. The next two generations migrated to Kentucky and then Indiana.

The McGees arrived from Scotland and after the Revolution moved to western Pennsylvania. The next generation moved first to Kentucky and then to Indiana.

The first Thom immigrant, Joseph, arrived from Northern Ireland (he was Scots-Irish) and a few years later fought in the Revolutionary War and moved to Pennsylvania soon afterwards. His descendants soon moved on to Indiana.

Members of the Austin family have their earliest known origins in New Jersey.

The Wilson-related Craig family most likely descended from Andrew Craig who arrived in New Jersey as an indentured servant from Scotland. His grandson fought in the Revolutionary War and later settled in Pennsylvania. His great granddaughter gained fame from sewing one of the first flags of the Revolution.

The Wilson-ancestor Frazee family are Scots that settled in New Jersey. The name is recorded with several spellings, including Frazey, Frasey, Frazie, Phrasie, but mostly as Frazee.

Samuel and his wife quickly moved to western Pennsylvania after immigrating. His daughter later moved to Kentucky and finally Indiana

The Choate family related to the Wilsons first settled in Maryland and became planters and significant land owners there. But after two generations the family moved West and Sina Choate's immediate ancestors were undoubtedly some of the earliest settlers in Tennessee.

The Pyle family had been persecuted as Quakers in England and became active members of the Society of Friends in their adopted Pennsylvania communities.

The Darlington family's first immigrant was Abraham, a Quaker who became quite successful as a farmer as well as a healer after settling in Pennsylvania.

The first American Quaker Hillborn, Thomas, came to Rhode Island as an indentured servant but later moved to New Jersey and eventually to Pennsylvania.

The matriarch of the American Hooten family is among the earliest and most well-known followers of the Quaker faith, Elizabeth (Snowden) Hooten. Her family continued in the tradition after they moved to New Jersey.

The Bennetts were persecuted for their Quaker beliefs in England so they left for Pennsylvania and settle in Chester County.

The Brintons were early Quaker converts from England who settled in Pennsylvania.

William Stovey had been persecuted in England because of his Quaker religion but it was his daughter who immigrated to America.

The Hoskins family were Quakers from England strongly associated with early Chester, Pennsylvania.

The Warner family were early settlers in the Massachusetts towns of Ipswich, Rowley and Dunstable.

The Sabin family goes back many generations in Titchfield, Hampshire, England before William immigrated to Massachusetts. The next two generations of Sabin settled in Connecticut.

The Nock family first settled at the Virginia end of the DelMarVa peninsula but like other Quakers, because of persecution in Virginia, eventually moved to Delaware.

The Eyre family, like the Nock family, were a Quaker family that first settled at the Virginia end of the DelMarVa peninsula. The first immigrant, Thomas may have family connections through his wife to some of the earliest Jamestown settlers.

The Waddelowe family are Quakers from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The Durdens were Maryland Quakers.

The Brown family as far as can be traced came from Maryland to Kentucky to Indiana over four generations.

The Hubbard family spent almost two hundred years in Connecticut before John Hubbard moved to Indiana in the ealry 1800s.

The Dorman family seems to have deep roots in Connecticut although definitive ancestry is not proven.

The Starr family was quite influential in colonial New England and included doctors to farmers.

The Roberts family was among the original settlers of Middletown, Connecticut.

The Collins family were early Massachusetts settlers whose progenitor, Edward, was a wealth of contradictions: church man, slave owner, confidant of the Regicides.

The first Henchman immigrant was a school teacher who fought in King Philip's War.

The Southmayd family began in America with two mariners who left their fortune to the interesting John of the third generation.

The Hamlin family was a founding family of Middletown, Connecticut with early connections to the sea trade.

The Baldwins were tradespeople, blacksmiths and coopers, who settled in Milford, Fairfield, and Guilford, Connecticut.

The other Baldwin family, like their cousins settled in Milford, Connecticut.

The Bruen family can be traced back to Charlemagne and were instrumental in founding Newark, New Jersey.

The Weld family has been prominent in Massachusetts politics and culture since their first arrival.

The Center family has strong New England Puritan roots.

The first Markham immigrant was a merchant and a deacon in the First Church of Christ and slave owner in Middletown, Connecticut.

The Harris family was among the earliest arrivals in the Winthrop fleet of Puritans.

The Stevens connection to the Miller family is dominated by the wayward Thomas Miller.

The first Nettleton immigrant lived in Wethersfield, Connecticut before becoming one of the first settlers in Milford.

Robert Porter was one of the original proprietors of Farmington, Connecticut.

The Porter family first settled in Cambridge; then moved to Hartford in 1636 where Thomas is considered one of the founders.

Richard Watts was one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut.

Very little is known about our part of the Windsor family.

The ancestors of the Simonton family were Scottish farmers probably displaced by their landlords and resettled in Northern Ireland by the English to dilute the recalcitrant Irish population. After a few generations, they struck out for America following earlier family. They took advantage of the Penn family offer to settle in Pennsylvania before looking for cheaper land in North Carolina. They later moved to the Midwest, first settling in Southwest Ohio before finally arriving in Columbus, Indiana.

Color Codes

Generations removed from Stevens ancestor


2nd Generation

3rd Generation

4th Generation

5th Generation

6th Generation

7th Generation

8th Generation

9th Generation

10th Generation

11th Generation

General History


Relations with Native Americans







The Pequot War

King Philip's War


Schleswig-Holstein immigration

Scots-Irish immigration

The Headright System

German Immigration

Great Migration

Massachusetts Bay Colony

Plymouth Colony


General Layout

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