Nielsen Hayden genealogy

John Stepney

Male - Aft 1754

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  • Name John Stepney 
    Gender Male 
    Died Aft Jul 1754  [1
    Person ID I1852  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of PNH
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2019 

    Family Mary,   d. Aft Jul 1754 
    +1. Sarah Stepney,   d. Aft Jul 1754
    Last Modified 9 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F776  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Writes Judge Edward F. Butler (citation details below): "Sarah Butler's father, John Stepney was a friend of her husband's father, Christopher, with whom he had several business dealings. She is mentioned in her father's July 1754 will as Mrs. Christopher Butler, together with Mary Stepney, Rachel Stepney, William Stepney and his wife Mary Stepney." This is footnoted to "Perquimans No., NC Will Book."

      There is nothing implausible about a man of Perquimans County being a friend and associate to a man of Chowan County; the two counties are adjacent. But we have been unable to locate a July 1754 will for a John Stepney of Perquimans County, North Carolina. The standard reference source on early North Carolina wills is Abstract of North Carolina Wills: Compiled from Original and Recorded Wills in the Office of the Secretary of State by John Bryan Grimes, Secretary of State (Raleigh, NC: E. M. Uzzell, 1910). In it are found abstracts of the wills of two John Stepneys. One, dated 11 Nov 1750, lists sons John and Samuel; daughters Sarah, Mary, Marcey, Elizabeth, and Rachel; and wife and executrix Sarah. The other, dated 2 Feb 1754 and probated in April, lists sons William and John; daughter Mary; and wife and executrix Elizabeth. The originals of both of these wills are viewable on Although the first of these mentions a daughter Sarah, neither of them mentions a "Mrs. Christopher Butler."

      It is possible that the John who died in 1754 is the son John of the John who died in 1750. But neither of these John Stepneys had a will written in July 1754, nor one probated in that month. And neither,, nor Secretary Grimes's volume of abstracts, feature a will of any John Stepney who wrote a will, or who had a will probated, in that month.

      A John Stepney, possibly the one who died in 1750, was definitely a substantial figure in the early history of Perquimans County. According to the History of Perquimans County by Mrs. Watson Winslow (Raleigh, North Carolina, 1931), a John Stepney is found on a grand jury in 1693; took the oath as clerk of Perquimans County in Mar 1697; was one of only two justices who could sign his name (as opposed to making a mark) in the last decade of the 1600s and the first decade of the 1700s; was a vestryman appointed by an act of the NC assembly in 1715; and held the title "Register of All Writings for Perquimans Precinct" in 1716.

  • Sources 
    1. [S117] The Descendants of Thomas Pincerna, Progenitor of the Butler Family by Judge Edward F. Butler, Sr. Dallas, 1997, 1999.