Generation 1: Henry Stephens, father of Henry Monroe “Hamp” Stephens


GENERATION 1: HENRY STEPHENS (b. abt. 1800 – d. bef. 17 Jan 1849), father of Henry Monroe “Hamp” Stephens.

Henry Stephens, the father of my 3rd great-grandfather Henry Monroe Stephens, was born about 1800 somewhere in Georgia. I start with Henry’s lineage– and not an earlier ancestor– as he is the most distant person in this line whose lineage I can definitely record with any accuracy (though even tracing his lineage correctly has been a challenge).

As to a birthplace– well, I’m not sure. The 1830 Lowndes, Georgia census has a Henry Stephens, that may or may not be him. Lowndes is just north of where this family ends up residing in 1832 (in Hamilton, Florida), so it is likely to be him.

I haven’t found many records for Henry Stephens, though a military record—that may or may not be him– exists. In the records of U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, there is a Henry Stephens who fought for the Confederacy in Georgia. This Henry served with the 11th Georgia Infantry, Company C, G and entered as a Private.

In the book, “Cracker Times and Pioneer Lives: The Florida Reminiscences of George Gillett Keen and Sarah Pamela Williams,” we learn that the family moved to Hamilton, Florida in 1832. In 1821, the transfer of Florida from Spain to the U.S. had created a mass migration of “planters” to Florida, mostly into Middle Florida. In the Antebellum South, planters were those who owned a plantation and held a number of slaves, mostly for agricultural labor. Though we don’t have records of Henry Stephens’ ownership of specific property or a plantation in the area, we can assume he did. At the time, enslaved persons made up much of the population, toiling on plantations and most likely growing cotton, which was the major cash crop of the area. In the Hamilton County Territorial census records in 1840, there is record of a Henry Stephens with a family of nine and seven slaves. This is likely his family.STEPHENS_Henry_documents_1840_Hamilton_FL_census_FamilySearch


I have seen a number of online trees listing a Joshua Stephens, not this Henry Stephens, as the father of Henry Monroe “Hamp” Stephens. I disagree. For starters, Hamilton County Probate records note that Henry M. Stephens and his wife, Elizabeth Stephens, were appointed administrators of the estate of Henry Stephens, deceased. Henry M. Stephens should, then, be the son of Henry Stephens. The persons named in the record are: Elizabeth Stephens (second wife of Henry Monroe Stephens), Henry M. Stephens, John S. Sharp, John G. Smith, Allen G. Johnson, Matthew M. Dees (the father-in-law of Henry Monroe’s son, Floyd Stephens). This Henry Stephens must be the father of Henry Monroe Stephens. Unfortunately, Henry died intestate (without a will) but this probate record was recorded 17 Jan 1849.

Those thinking Joshua is Henry Monroe’s father use the 1850 District 2 Hamilton, Florida census (for the family of Joshua Stephens) as proof. This census record notes that Joshua has a son named Henry Stephens– but this Henry can’t be our Henry Monroe Stephens. The census states that Joshua’s son Henry was born in 1837. My records all indicate that Henry Monroe was born in 1823. This is a 14-year-difference in birthdates, which is far too wide of a time span. This Joshua Stephens is most likely Henry Monroe’s uncle or another family member. I believe him to be an uncle, the brother of Henry Stephens. (Side note: I have also found a James H. Stephens, born abt. 1804, whom I believe to be the brother of Henry Stephens as well, though I don’t have proof of these relationships.)

An important accomplishment of this family is their recorded participation in Florida’s first statewide election in 1845. To participate, individuals had to reside in the county in which they registered to vote, had to own land there, had to demonstrate that it had been their place of permanent abode for at least six months preceding the election, and had to have resided within the Territory and the State of Florida for the two years prior. Only free white citizens of 21 years of age and older could vote. Able-bodied men under age 45 were obligated to become members of the State Militia before voting. All this proved land ownership of our Henry Stephens, Henry M. Stephens, Joshua Stephens (brother of Henry M.), as well as William Stephens (likely the son of Joshua) – all listed as registered voters of Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida; Precinct #2 on May 26, 1845. This must have been a fairly prosperous and well-educated family.

As for a death date for Henry– well, in an 1850 census, son Henry M. Stephens is listed as head of household and is residing with a combination of both his siblings and children (his wife had just died) but he is not residing with his parents. This record suggests that his father, Henry, and Henry’s wife, Elizabeth, are probably deceased by 1850.

Better information as to a death date is this: In the Hamilton County Probate records, Elizabeth Stephens and Henry M. Stephens are appointed administrators of the estate of Henry Stephens, who is now deceased. To be appointed as administrators, they should have been closely related to Henry. Henry would be expected to be the father of Henry M. Stephens. Here, we have found out that Henry Stephens died without a will. As the probate record was recorded 17 Jan 1849, Henry Stephens obviously passed away before this date.

I haven’t found an estate inventory—unfortunately. I also do not know where Henry Stephens is buried.

If you have information on this family, please contact me.


  1. Pingback: Generation 2: Henry Monroe “Hamp” Stephens (b.1823 – d.1871) | Oak Grove Genealogy

  2. Kathy A Dupree

    I read your blog on the Stephens family as it sounds alot like the Stephens I am trying to find. My husband’s maternal great grandfather was Samuel Bartow “SB” Stephens (1856-1933 Floria). He married Adaline Deloach of Bullock, Ga. However I do not have the name of SB’s parents but I think they were both born in Ga. One researcher suggested the parents were Samuel Stephens (1813-1887) and Martha Tabitha Baker (1816-1901.) However, there are too many discrepancies with that theory.

    Have you heard anything about this?


    Kathy A. Dupree

    1. Julie (Post author)

      Unfortunately, I’m not recognizing those names though they are very possibly related. My Stephens’ were in Georgia prior to Florida– possibly Lowndes county. One interesting note: my 3rd great grandfather, Henry Stephens, married a Mariah Louis Varn. Her parents lived and passed away in Bartow, Polk, Florida. I’m wondering if your Samuel Bartow was born or raised in Bartow.

      1. Kathy A Dupree

        According to census data, Sam “SB” Stephens parents were born in Georgia (I roughly calculate around 1820) and were in Florida by 1850’s as Sam also declares on census that he was born in Florida. His wife, Adaline” was born in Bulloch, GA and she and Sam got married in FL. The other tidbit I have is that Sam’s cousin, James, was living with them in High Springs, FL in 1900. He was a druggist and married a woman named Lona.

      2. kathy dupree

        I am going to check Bartow County. I assume you have already checked census information.

        1. Julie (Post author)

          Yes, I have! Let me know what you find out.

      3. Kathy Dupree

        Polk County was made a county in 1861 by taking part of Hillsborough County. Technically, my ancestor, Samuel Bartow Stephens, was born in Hillsborough. So, I am going into Hillsborough to search for more Stephens.

  3. Cynthia

    (Gr pop Pop) Henry Stephens of Mango Florida. Born and raised on a plantation in Adel Georgia. Never recovered from the civil war. I can link my Stephens family to half brother Alexander Stephens VP of the Confederacy 1861. It was a large family of children split up after both parents death. We are all intricately connected in someway.

    1. Julie (Post author)

      Do you have a tree that I could look at? Julie

  4. Dink Herring

    I have a similar Stephens roadblock (and “internet” ties to AHS, although I CANNOT make myself believe the tie). My 3gg, Andrew Stephens (m. Catherine Stringer) was born about 1801 in GA or TN. Family lore states “His parents came from Ireland and had two sons. Something happened to the parents and the brothers were separated, never to meet again” Many internet researchers claim he is the son of Nehemiah (which he may well be, as he is 8 households from a Nehemiah in 1830, Sevier, TN) but I don’t believe it’s THE Nehemiah that’s Uncle to AHS, who is fairly well documented.
    Some people are seemingly clueless, or is it careless?! when it comes to due diligence!
    It is like another brick wall I have, my 2gg on my maternal side, of whom family members have been searching for over 50 years. A 3rd cousin suddenly has this couple listed as his parents. I asked if she had definitive proof, as they’ve been suspects, although their dates are slightly off. Her reply was that she had a copy of an entry in a family Bible owned by his grandson, although she “doesn’t know who made the entry”. AND, she’s not sharing this copy with the world, so I’m very suspicious of it’s authenticity. If I found the right people for sure, I’d be shouting through the rooftops!

  5. John Ritzler

    I have a lead that may be very useful to you if you are still pursuing this line of inquiry. Your work helped me, so maybe this can help you in return.
    I am related to “Lizzie” Stephens who matches up very well with the youngest daughter of Henry M. in the 1860 census. Thank you for helping me find that link.
    After becoming interested in Henry M., I believe you are right that his father is Henry. It cannot be the Joshua from Clarke County, GA because he is in Cobb County, GA for the 1860 census and has no association with any Henry or N. Florida. I also agree with you that the Joshua in Hamilton County, FL in the 1850 census is probably the brother of Henry Sr. (who died right before the 1850 census).
    Here is lead. The probate records of Hamilton County, FL in 1851 show that Henry M. took guardianship of his mother (or step-mother) Elizabeth because she is a “lunatic”. You will see her, age 60, in the 1860 census record of Henry M. You will also see Worth in that same census, and notice that Henry M. also took guardianship of Worth in the same 1951 probate records. I believe that Worth is likely the son of Elizabeth and Henry Sr., making him the brother (or step-brother) of Henry M.
    If we fast forward to the 1900 and 1910 census, they include information about where a person’s parents were born. All of the children of Henry M. indicate that their father was born in Georgia. However, they say that Worth’s father was born in North Carolina.
    I don’t have records to confirm this next part. William Stevens (b. abt. 1760) and his wife, from Johnston County, NC, had three sons Josiah, Henry, and Edward, all born before 1800. William’s wife was named Mary Sasser (b. 1775). This seems promising because the names and ages are good, but also the Stephens people are buried in the Sasser Cemetery.
    Please let me know if this returns anything fruitful for you.

    1. Julie (Post author)

      Hi John– Thanks for the input! I have seen those probate records before. Elizabeth is named a ‘lunatic’ or ‘insane person’ but is entitled to ‘considerable interest an property in said estate’. Great info! In the 1851 record where Henry M takes guardianship of his brother/step-brother, do you see the name of the minor as Worth or Lot W (Stephens). It looks like Lot W. Stephens to me. Of course, Henry M had his own son named Worth as well, with wife, Elizabeth Dees. In the 1851 probate records, Henry M also takes guardianship of brother, Joshua Stephens, a minor as well.

    2. Matt

      I am a descendant of Josiah Stevens and have Ancestry matches with Henry’s descendants. I think the third brother was Edmund, not Edward. One of Josiah’s sons (my GGG) was named Edmund (and another was Josiah Jr. who also had an Edmund), so it all lines up. I believe they were brothers and also sons of William Stevens, who died in 1799 when they were very young. Josiah somehow remained in or returned to Jefferson County, GA despite his mother moving away. Not sure about Henry. Josiah and Henry’s brother Edmund must have died young, as there is no trace of him that i can find as an adult.

  6. John Ritzler

    I had guessed that Lot W might be Worth. That was a mistake. Worth is only 4 in the 1860 census which means he can’t be the son of Henry who died in 1849. I do wonder what happened to Lot W. and Joshua.
    The William Stevens/Mary Sasser lead comes from “Notable Southern Families, vol.II”.

    The property records in Twiggs County, GA corroborate that Mary Sasser remarried Benjamin Bryan and they moved there. I haven’t been able to find any sign of Henry or Josiah in Twiggs, GA yet. Of course, by 1816, both Henry and Josiah would have been old enough to be fighting in the Florida War.
    Thanks again,


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