Capt. Samuel Stephens

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Samuel Stephens

Death: Died in Albemarle Colony, Province of Carolina
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Stephens and Elizabeth Piersey
Husband of Frances Berkeley

Occupation: Captain, Governor of the Albemarle settlements
Managed by: Ben M. Angel, still catching up
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Capt. Samuel Stephens

Samuel Stephens (North Carolina)

Samuel Stephens (1629–1669) was the Governor of the Albemarle colony (which would later become North Carolina) from 1667 until his death in late 1669. He was appointed by the Lords Proprietor to succeed William Drummond.

Stephens was born in Jamestown, Virginia and was the first governor of any colony to be born in America. His parents were Richard Stephens and Elizabeth Piersey Stephens.

In 1652, Stephens married Frances Culpepper, the sister of Lord John Culpeper. They had no children.[1] They owned Boldrup Plantation.[2]

Before King Charles II of England established the Province of Carolina, Stephens had served as "Commander of the Southern Plantation" for the Colony of Virginia between 1662 and 1664. The "Southern Plantation" roughly corresponded to what would later be northeastern North Carolina.

Stephens died while serving as Governor.[1]



  • Samuel Stephens
  • Birth: 1629 Jamestown, James City County, Virginia, USA
  • Death: Mar. 7, 1670 Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
  • Samuel was the Governor of Albemarle County, Virginia in 1667. he was good and wise Governor. he married Frances Culpeper on January 1, 1652. there was no children.
  • Family links:
  • Parents:
  • Richard Stephens (1602 - 1636)
  • Spouse:
  • Frances Culpeper Ludwell (1634 - 1690)
  • Siblings:
  • John Stephens (1627 - 1700)*
  • Samuel Stephens (1629 - 1670)
  • William Stevens (1630 - 1687)*
  • Burial: Non-Cemetery Burial
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 154042613
  • From:


  • Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia By Warren M. Billings
  • Pg.169
  • Berkeley's second choice of governors, Samuel Stephens (1629?-70) was far happier. A native Virginian, Stephens was the child of parents with means and influence. His father Richard, a London painter-stainer, had established the family in the colony. Sailing for the Chesapeake in 1622 stocked with goods worth three hundred pounds and a share in a land grant from the Virginia Company of London, the elder Stephens fashioned himself into a prosperous tobacco exporter and an ally of Abraham Peirsey, one of the wealthiest colonial merchants of his day. Peirsey helped his protégé to abundant properties in Warwick County and to seats in the General Assembly and the Council of State. The Peirsey affiliation brought Stephens a wife too. He wed Elizabeth Peirsey about a year before Samuel was born.13
  • Pg.170
  • Stephens died while Samuel was a small lad. His widow married Governor Sir John Harvey. When the Harveys returned to England in 1639, Dame Elizabeth left Samuel behind and conferred the management of him and his substantial legacy on a succession of guardians. Her selection of trustees was indicative of the standing of the boy's father. She nominated such prominent men as Richard Kemp, George Ludlow, Samuel Mathews, and William Peirce. Although nothing is known of how the guardians educated their charge, they did well by him financially because they increased his real estate holdings by several thousand acres at least. And their own prominence ensured his insertion into the colony's political establishment once he came of age.14
  • About the time young Stephens attained his majority, he married Frances Culpeper (1634-95?), and their union brought advantages of its own. For Frances a deed of trust executed before the wedding conferred all of her soon-to-be husband's holdings upon her in the event he died without heirs. Marriage into the Culpeper family elevated Samuel socially and politically. Frances Culpeper belonged to genteel Kentish parents of royalist leanings who fled to Virginia in 1650. The Culpepers lived on Mulberry Island in Warwick County, not too far from their Filmer relations and Stephens's plantation, Bolthorpe. Frances's father, Thomas, was a member of the Virginia Company, an original proprietor of the Northern Neck, an associate of Sir John Berkeley, and an acquaintance of Governor Berkeley. .... etc.


  • The Majors and Their Marriages By James Branch Cabell
  • Pg.122
  • .... etc.
  • The elder daughter of Abraham Piersey, as has been said, married Captain RICHARD STEPHENS, who was born in England circa 1600. he came to Virginia in the George, accompanied by two servants, in the same year that Elizabeth Piersey joined her father there—1623—and promptly signalized his arrival by taking part in the first fuel fought in the English Colonies.
  • Pg.123
  • .... etc.
  • Stephens had meanwhile married Elizabeth Piersey, a great heiress as the times went, apparently by 1629 at latest. .... etc.
  • Pg.125
  • Captain Richard Stephens and Elizabeth Piersey had issue:
    • I. Captain SAMUEL STEPHENS, born circa 1629, in whose name, as previously recorded, was patented, .... etc.
  • Pg.126
  • .... Samuel Stephens in 1652 married Frances Culpeper, and in 1667 was commissioned Governor of Albermarle—that is, North Carolina—which office he retained until his death in 1670. .... Captain Samuel Stephens had left no children; and his widow in the ensuing June married Sir William Berkeley, then Governor of Virginia. She survived her second husband likewise, and married third, Colonel Philip Ludwell.
  • WILLIAM STEPHENS, the younger son, was born circa 1631. He inherited from his mother land in Warwick county, certainly 470 of and probably all, the 500 acres previously in dispute between Elizabeth Harvey and her elder son, Samuel. .... William Stephens, however, did not live long enough to prosper unreasonably, as he died before reaching twenty-seven; his will drawn up 6 April 1656, and living in November 1656, he was dead by April 1657.
  • Pg.127
  • Shortly before his death William Stephens had made application for a land-pantent, for 570 additional acres in Warwick, which was eventually granted, 1 May 1657, to his only son, another William Stephens—"as son & heire to WILLIAM STEPHENS, Cooper, deceased." .... etc.
  • William Stephen had married circa 1650 Margaret Vaulx, by whom he had two children; .... etc.


  • Samuel Stephens
  • Governor of Albemarle 1667 to 1669
  • .... etc.
  • Born in Jamestown in 1629, Stephens was the first governor of any colony to be born in America. He was married to Frances Culpeper, the sister of Lord John Culpeper.
  • When Stephens died in 1669, Frances Culpeper Stephens married Governor William Berkeley. After Berkeley's death in 1677, she married thirdly to Phillip Ludwell, Governor of Charles Town, in 'South' Carolina. Stephens had owned a tract of 4,000 acres of land in Albemarle County, which was sold upon his death to John Hill of York County, Virginia. In 1693, this same tract of land was sold by John Hill's son, Samuel Hill of Warwick County, Virginia and his wife, Mary, to Governor Seth Sothel.
  • .... etc.
  • From:





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Capt. Samuel Stephens's Timeline

December 1669
Age 40
Albemarle Colony, Province of Carolina