Stoneley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Stoneley has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family 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. Stoneley 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 Stoneley were named due to their close proximity to the stanley.
Early Origins of the Stoneley family
The surname Stoneley 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  including: Stanlei in Derbyshire and West Yorkshire; Stanlee in Gloucestershire; and Stanlei (now Stoneleigh) in Warwickshire. The place name literally means "stony wood clearing." 
"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." 
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." 
Later "the Stanleys of Alderley, and the Stanleys of Hooton, [became] the sole owners of the township [of Great Meolse, Cheshire.]" 
Early History of the Stoneley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stoneley research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1442, 1566, 1350, 1414, 1435, 1504, 1485, 1460, 1503, 1506, 1597, 1672, 1660, 1531, 1593, 1586, 1599, 1664, 1625, 1678, 1628, 1672, 1655, 1702, 1670, 1714, 1695, 1698 and are included under the topic Early Stoneley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Stoneley Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Stoneley have been found, including Stanley, Standley, Stanleigh, Stoneley and others.
Early Notables of the Stoneley family (pre 1700)
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 Stoneley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Stoneley family to Ireland
Some of the Stoneley 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 Stoneley family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Stoneley, or a variant listed above: 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.
Related Stories +
The Stoneley 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.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.