An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The proud Stoneback family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Stoneback family originally lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English word stan, meaning stone, and indicates that the original bearer lived near a prominent stone.
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Stone, Stoan and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stoneback research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1651, 1639, 1602, 1663, 1633, 1743 and 1787 are included under the topic Early Stoneback History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stoneback Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Stoneback family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Stoneback were found: Mrs Stone, who settled in Massachusetts in 1633; Andrew Stone, who settled in Virginia in 1635; Ann Stone, who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635.
This page was last modified on 7 January 2016 at 12:56.