Show ContentsStanely History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Stanely begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the county of Cumberland in an area that was defined by the Old English word stanley which means astony clearing or stony field. Stanely is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the original bearers of the surname Stanely were named due to their close proximity to the stanley.

Early Origins of the Stanely family

The surname Stanely was first found in Cambridgeshire at Stonely (Stoneley), a hamlet near Kimbolton and home to Stoneley Priory which was established in 1180 and dissolved in 1536.

By the time of the Conquest, there were several listings of the name in the Domesday Book 1 including: Stanlei in Derbyshire and West Yorkshire; Stanlee in Gloucestershire; and Stanlei (now Stoneleigh) in Warwickshire. The place name literally means "stony wood clearing." 2

"Descended from a younger branch of the Barons Audeley, of Audeley in Staffordshire, the name of Stanley, from the manor of that name in this county, in the reign of John, was assumed by William de Audleigh." 3

Another branch of the family was established in very early times in Hornby, Lancashire. "The castle was originally founded soon after the Norman Conquest, and was subsequently the residence of the Stanleys, lords Monteagle, to one of whom the mysterious letter was sent which led to the discovery of the Gunpowder plot." 4

Later "the Stanleys of Alderley, and the Stanleys of Hooton, [became] the sole owners of the township [of Great Meolse, Cheshire.]" 4

Early History of the Stanely family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stanely research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1350, 1414, 1435, 1442, 1460, 1485, 1503, 1504, 1506, 1531, 1566, 1586, 1593, 1597, 1599, 1625, 1628, 1655, 1660, 1664, 1670, 1672, 1678, 1695, 1698, 1702, 1714 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Stanely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stanely Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Stanely has undergone many spelling variations, including Stanley, Standley, Stanleigh, Stoneley and others.

Early Notables of the Stanely family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Stanley K.G. (c.1350-1414), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and titular King of Mann; Sir Thomas Stanley (c.1435-1504), created 1st Earl of Derby in 1485; George Stanley, 9th Baron Strange, of Knockyn, KG, KB (1460-1503), an English nobleman and heir apparent of Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby; Sir John Stanley, illegitimate son of James Stanley, Bishop of Ely, in 1506; Sir Thomas Stanley (1597-1672), created 1st Baronet Stanley of Alderley Hall in 1660; Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby KG (1531-1593)...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stanely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Stanely family to Ireland

Some of the Stanely family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Stanely family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Stanely were among those contributors: Christopher Stanley and his wife Susanne, who settled in Boston Mass in 1635; George and Alice Stanley settled in Virginia in 1656; Joseph and his wife Elizabeth Stanley settled in Georgia in 1732.

Contemporary Notables of the name Stanely (post 1700) +

  • Stanely J. Goldberg (b. 1939), American special trial judge of the United States Tax Court

The Stanely Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sans changer
Motto Translation: Without changing.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook