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Deborah Wood (#46940039)
 member for 8 years, 11 months, 1 day
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Bio Photo To those interested in the PETER STEPHENS,SR ancestry, please note that aside from my own research, there are excellent and well documented sources for the immigration, naturalization and life courses of Peter Stephens and his descendants.

One of the better authors and historians is Daniel Bly and he is among us here on findagrave (#48940997). One of his many works is FROM THE RHINE TO THE SHENANDOAH, Volume III (Baltimore, MD 2002), Stephens Chapter, pages 171-183.

Another well documented work is that of Linton E Love. He documents the Rittenhouse family immigrants & descendants in his RITTENHOUSE GENEALOGY CD version 20 March 2005" see page 13.

Anyone wishing to learn should have a look at both of these works via Google books; the Rittenhouse work is available for free download in PDF form. Among other facts, you will find proof that the wife of Peter Stephens Sr was Maria Christina, and her maiden name remains unknown. I personally know for a fact that she was NOT the daughter of Nicholas Rittenhouse and Wilhelmina DeWees as some suggest. I have held in my hand, a hard copy of the marriage banns and marriage record, for Anna Maria Rittenhouse. She married Jans Casper Jansen, and he outlived her. They have many descendants. This record was sent to me in 2005 by then president of the Rittenhouse Family Society,
Larry Rittenouse of Canada.

Further proof of the children of Nicholas Rittenhouse and Wilhelmina DeWees is found in both of their Last Wills, easily found online. From both documents one can see that they had no daughter who was married to Peter Stephens:

Philadelphia Cou WBE page 280, dated 4 May 1734

1737 WILL OF WILHELMINA DEWEES, a translation from Pennsylvania German by D. K. Cassel (page 74) of the will of Wilhelmina DeWees, the wife of Claus Rittinghausen, dated 6 March 1737

LAST WILL OF PETER STEPHENS, SR: Peter's will has been added to his memorial #167660501 and I wish to emphasize there were no children born to Peter & Maria named Keziah or Elizabetha. Henry was their youngest child. The children of Peter & Maria Christina Stephens were
1) Lewis aka Ludwig
2) Christina aka Maria Christina
3) Lawrence
4) Magdalena
5) Margaret
6) Peter
7) Henry

To understand German naming, know that the daughters have a prefix, matching that of their mother. For example, First daughter, Christina is formally called Maria Christina. Rarely does one see daughter Margaret as Maria Margaret as they were by then, adjusting to the non formal naming patterns of their new country.

Likewise, German boys sometimes retain the "prefix" of the father. If you see Johann or Johannes Heinrich Steffans" that would be formal German for Henry Stephens. Hans is merely a prefix similar to our Mr.

In the case of Rittenhouse children, we find daughters with the same prefix as their mother, that being Anna. Children of Nicholas "Claes" or "Claus" Rittenhouse and his wife Anna Wilhelmina (Willemijn) DeWees:

1) SYTJE aka Seikie (sometimes spelled as Zitian)
b 1690 She married JOHN GORGAS

2) WILLIAM aka Wilhelm b 1691

3) MARYA aka Mary Maria, Anna Maria b 1695

4) CATHERINE aka Anna Catherine b 1697
She married JACOB ENGEL

5) SUSANNA aka Anna Susanna b 1698

6) HENRY aka Heinrich b 1700

7) MATTHIAS b 1702
Finally, another commonly spread myth is that one of the daughters of Peter and Maria Christina Stephens was the 2nd wife of Jost Hite.
THIS STORY IS FALSE: Records show there were two women who could have been Magdalena, second wife of Jost Hite, as records identify her as Magdalena, widow of Christian Nicewander (multiple spellings of this name). One candidate is Peter Stephens Sr's SISTER, Magdalena, widow of one Christina Nicewander and Magdelana Herr, widow of another Christian Nicewander.
Why am I posting this here on my profile? We have had a group of folks who have made it their goal to change the memorials for the Peter Stephens families, even attempting to change Peter's ancestry to English rather than German. For the past year, 75 duplicate memorials have now been removed, made by them.

Their claims of new info for my Stephens family have been debunked. Author and historian, Daniel Bly has received confirmation from the Newtown History Center that "no new information regarding Peter Stephens family history has been brought to their attention; they have not met nor even heard of this group of people from Nebraska, claiming to have met with them."

I had to block them from my ancestry tree messaging. So I found the need to post this known information here, rather than continue to spend time answering private questions via my personal emails.
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Messages left for Deborah Wood (8)[Leave Message]
Peter Stephens DNA
Hello Deborah, I have a researcher in VA trying to determine the parents of my John D. Stephens. John was in the area of Franklin & Montgomery counties in VA in the late 1700's & early 1800's. The researcher has abstracted yearly Stephens tax records for many counties in southwest VA from around 1780 thru 1815. I think the abstracts include your Peter Stephens (1732-1812). I'm wondering if you know whether any Peter Stephens descendants have been tested for DNA or Family Tree DNA. I would like to find out if I'm connected to the Peter Stephens line. I'm very willing to share my research information. I would very much appreciate it if you could contact me at

Thank you for any help you can give me.

Dennis Stephens
Added by DStephens on Aug 24, 2016 5:05 PM
Bob Stephens
RE: Andrew...
Thank you Deborah. The clue is out there somewhere. of course, there are cousins in Nemaha County, Nebraska might have the answer of Andrew father. Like Tom Scott mention, there is someone that knows in Nebraska We need to keep on searching.
Added by Bob Stephens on Aug 23, 2016 9:37 AM
Bob Stephens
RE: So....
I been so busy with the websites.
Have you found more information on Andrew J. Stephens family line?
Added by Bob Stephens on Aug 23, 2016 7:48 AM
James Stephens
RE: Love your website
Thank you Deborah for the kind words.

Best wishes.
James Stephens
Added by James Stephens on Aug 12, 2016 2:00 PM
Jessie Hagan
Reynolds Family

I would like to speak with you about the Reynolds family.

I work for the Sons of the American Revolution in Louisville, KY.

Could you contact me at:


Jessie Hagan

Added by Jessie Hagan on Aug 04, 2016 11:09 AM
Henry Stephens

I looked through all my records and don't know where I got the name Thomas so I've updated Find A Grave and to remove the Thomas part. Thank you for making me aware of this.
Added by Jackie on Jul 22, 2016 3:27 PM
Bob Stephens
RE: Andrew born 1810
I am not going keep on repeating things. Andrew Stephens and Ruth Bishop are totally different lines from ours.
You are not be misunderstood. I thank your for your research and input on our lines.
Do not get more upset over this.
Just be patience my dear cousin. We all here to create accurate and true memorials. To honor and respect our ancestors.
Added by Bob Stephens on Jul 22, 2016 2:54 PM
Bob Stephens
RE: Not possible
Which journals ? There are several journals that we found. There several of our Stephens family ancestors that wrote in the journals.
The main one you are talking about was written by Peter Stephens and his wife Maria Christina together. Maria is the one that wrote about Peter Steffens. There is one that Lewis wrote one also. There is various ancestors that wrote the journals.
Added by Bob Stephens on Jul 16, 2016 3:21 PM

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