Show ContentsStones History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Stones family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. 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 Stones 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. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Stones family

The surname Stones was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 which include the following early entries for the family: Warin de la Stane, Devon; Reginald ad Stone, Bedfordshire; and John de la Stone, Sussex, while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Johannes del Stone; Robertus del Stones; and Elena de Stons. [3]

Other early rolls point to the diverse spellings and the many places the family held: Robert Ston was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for Oxfordshire in 1212; Roger del ston found at Ely, Suffolk in 1277; Robert atte Stone in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; Elias atte Stonis in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327; John in le Stones in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1332; William del stones in 1348; and Richard de Stone in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1275. [4]

"Excepting its establishment in Derbyshire, this name is mostly restricted to the south of England and is especially at home in Berks and Bucks, and in the south - western counties of Somerset, Dorset, and Devon. It has probably in most cases a local origin, as in Somerset, Bucks, Kent, etc., where there are parishes and villages thus called." [5]

Some of the family ventured into Scotland where the name was "probably of English origin. Thomas de Stone of Roxburghshire rendered homage [to King Edward I of England] in 1296. Thomas de Stone was common councillor of Aberdeen, 1435." [6]

Early History of the Stones family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Stones research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1651, 1639, 1417, 1586, 1647, 1586, 1630, 1642, 1630, 1602, 1663, 1633, 1603, 1661, 1603, 1648, 1743 and 1787 are included under the topic Early Stones History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Stones Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Stones family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Gilbert Stone (d. 1417?), English medieval letter-writer, born at Stone in Staffordshire, whence he took his name. Nicholas Stone (1586-1647), was an English mason, statuary, and architect, born at Woodbury, near Exeter, in 1586, the son of a quarryman. Benjamin Stone (fl. 1630-1642), was an English sword-maker and enterprising cutler of London who about 1630 established on Hounslow Heath, on the site now occupied by Bedfont powder-mills, the earliest English sword factory of which anything is...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Stones Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Stones family to Ireland

Some of the Stones family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Stones migration to the United States +

The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Stones:

Stones Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Moyses Stones, ages 16, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 aboard the ship "Bonnie Bess" [7]
Stones Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Fredrich Stones, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1795 [7]

Australia Stones migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Stones Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Stones, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for life, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 27th May 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Joseph Herbert Stones, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Exeter [9]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Norman Stones, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Texada Island, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [10]
  • Mrs. Hilda Mary Stones, Canadian 2nd Class passenger from Texada Island, British Columbia, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [10]

The Stones 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: Vive ut vivas
Motto Translation: Live that you may live for ever

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th March 2022). Retrieved from
  9. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  10. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook