Elizabeth Stephens

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Elizabeth Stephens (Piersey)

Birthplace: Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, England
Death: before September 15, 1646
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Abraham Piersey, Sr. and Elizabeth Piersey
Wife of Capt. Richard Stephens and Sir John Harvey
Mother of John Stephens; William Stephens; Captain Samuel Stephens; Richard Lawrence Stephens; Ursula Harvey and 1 other
Sister of Mary Bushrod

Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. C...
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Stephens

Eliabeth Piersey was the daughter of Abraham Piersey, Sr. and Elizabeth Draper, his 1st wife. She married 1st to Richard Stephens in Virginia, probably in Jamestowne, circa 1628.

  • Two sons: Samuel and William

After his death, she then married Sir John Harvey in Virginia, circa 1638.

  • Two daughters: Ursula and Anne

John and Elizabeth Harvey returned to England in 1640, after the Governor Harvey's career took a downward turn.

Elizabeth (Peirsey) Stephens Harvey must have died before September 15, 1646, as she is not mentioned in John Harvey's will of that date.


Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers, 1607-1635: A Biographical Dictionary

by Martha W. McCartney, page 373

Adventurers of Purse and Person, Dorman, 1987, page 481

"Sir John Harvey" in Encyclopedia Virginiana: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Harvey_Sir_John_ca_1581_or_1582-by_1650


  • Capt. Richard Stephens (1585 - 1636) in Wiltshire, England arrived as an unmarried man of means with two to four servants, at Jamestown Settlement in 1623 aboard The George. Stevens was an experience military man and quickly began to establish himself in the colony by acquiring land, and was soon named Burgess in the colony. After building a blockhouse and receiving patent on the same, the Captain was issued the first English land grant in the colony as incentive for other landowners to follow his example and build gardens within their property holdings. Captain Stephens amassed nearly 2000 acres by his death in 1636.
  • Stephens married Elizabeth Piercy, b. 1600, daughter of Abraham Piercy - Cape Merchant of Jamestown. They had four sons; John, William, Richard L. and Samuel Stephens.
  • Stephens fought the first duel in the English colonies after an argument with George Harrison, the latter being struck just below the knee. Harrison died two weeks later, though not from the wound, but some other malady of the time. Such an encounter in North America was not to be repeated for some 100 years.
  • As Burgess, Stephens (and local citizenry as well) often found themselves at odds with the then Governor of Jamestown: Governor Harvey. The governor was prone to angry outbursts, and was documented to have attacked Stephens with a cane or cudgel, knocking out a number of his teeth. The governor, was eventually deposed and sent back to England, where he faced charges for numerous mistreatments of members of the colony. Upon the Captain's death, Elizabeth Piercy Stephens is said to have married Governor Harvey.
  • Two of Stevens sons, Samuel and Richard L.s made names for themselves in the new world as well. Samuel Stephens rose to prominence and become the 2nd Governor of the North Carolina settlement in the region known as the Albermarle, and Richard L. (Lawrence) Stephens for a time dropped his last name, (a protective measure) as commander of the garrison at Bacon's Castle in the mid 1670s - during Bacon's Rebellion.
  • From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stephens_(burgess)



  • Virginia immigrants and adventurers, 1607-1635: a biographical dictionary By Martha W. McCartney
  • http://books.google.com/books?id=orDbMGpInaQC&pg=PA215&lpg=PA215&dq=Elizabeth+Cole+1618&source=bl&ots=WG-9bdo0XK&sig=MuuEo7JkyuotFzvO6QSpvPYhGIE&hl=en&ei=1XHETLPNHYe-sAPx2Ii5BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CCkQ6AEwBjhu#v=onepage&q=pierce&f=false
  • Pg.548
  • Virginia Company invester Abraham Peirsey (Persey, Perseye, Pearsey) of Maidstone in Kent, England, came to Virginia in 1616 on the Susan, the colony's first magazine ship. As Virginia's cape merchant, he was supposed to sell magazine's goods profitably in exchange for tobacco and sassafras, but he also was authorized to trade freely. Peirsey ascorted the Susan back to England and returned the following year on the George, another magazine ship. Afterward he made Virginia his permanent residence. He served as vice-admiral during Deputy Governor Samuel Argall's goverment (1617-1618), and in 1622 he testified about the disposition of Lord Delaware's goods when the Neptune arrived in Jamestown (1) in August 1618. In July 1619 Peirsey participated in the colony's first assembly, representing his position as cape merchant. He sent word to England that many of the commodities he was supposed to sell to the colonist were relatively useless and that plows and other necessities were badly needed.
  • In August 1619 Abraham Peirsey accompanied Governor George Yeardley to Old Point Comfort (17), where they traded food for some Africans who had just arrived in a Dutch man-of-war. In November 1619 the Virginia Company rewarded Peirsey for his faithful service by giving him 200 acres. This land became part of the 1,150 acres called Peirseys Toile, which was located on the upper side of the Appomottox River near Swift's Creek and Bermuda Hundred (39). Abraham Peirsey sent to England in March 1620 he was accused of price-gouging and wrongfully detaining the George. One of the men with whom Peirsey had business dealings was John Rolfe of Jamestown. In May 24, 1621, letter, Peirsey said that he had sent Virginia Company Treasurer Sir Edwin Sandys some sturgeon and that the George had gone to Newfoundland for fish. He also dispatched a shipment of tobacco to the Netherlands.
  • On March 22, 1622, when the Indians attacked the Peirsey plantation on the Appomattox River, four people were killed. In May 1622 Abraham Peirsey testified against Captain John Martin, whom he accused of harboring debtors at his plantation and drawing arms against the provost marshal. On the other hand, Peirsey himself was accused of selling 10 cows that belonged to the Society of Martin's Hundred. When testifying in England in 1622, he identified himself as a 45-year-old 'citizen and dyer of London but by profession Cape Merchant to the Virginia Company." Abraham Peirsey set sail from England on July 31, 1622, on the James. Afterward, he sent a shipment of Virginia sturgeon to Company officials in England. In 1623 he was one of the men selected to compile information on the Virginia colony, on the king's behalf.
  • When a census was made of the colony's inhabitants on February 16, 1624, Abraham Peirsey's name was omitted, perhaps because he was not then in Virginia. By that date he had purchased from Sir George Yeardley and his wife, Lady Temperance, the 1,000-acre Flowerdew Hundred (53) plantation and 2,200 acres across the James at Weyanoke (52). Peirsey also had use (and perhaps ownership) of some property in urban Jamestown, the focal point of his mercantile operations. On June 24, 1624, court testimony made reference to Peirsey's storehouse near the fort, and when a muster was taken on January 24, 1625, he was credited with a dwelling, two storehouses, and some livestock. Peirsey, who had been named to the Council of State, when then living in urban Jamestown with his daughters Mary (age 11) and Elizabeth (age 15), and his new wife, Frances Grenville (the widow of Nathaniel West). Four servants were part of the Peirsey household in Jamestown, and an additional 27 servants--including four who were black--were residing on his property at Peirsey's (formerly Flowerdew) Hundred,. Throughout this period Peirsey was identified as the colony's cape merchant. Abraham Peirsey's business dealings resulted in his frequently appearing before the General Court, for he brought suit against those who owed the Company (or him) funds and he was sued by his own creditors. He also was among those called to testify about the personal property attributable to the estates of people slain during the 1622 Indian attack. In May 1625 he was credited with 1,150 on the Appomattox River; 1,000 acres at Flowerdew Hundred; and 2,000 acres at Weyanoke. Among the.....
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  • The Majors and their marriages By James Branch Cabell page 122
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Elizabeth Stephens's Timeline

Gloucestershire, England
Age 13
Jamestown, James, Virginia, USA
Age 20
Age 21
Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
Age 22
North America, British Colonies, Virginia, Warwick County, of
Age 29
Age 29
September 15, 1646
Age 37