Last name: Styles

This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and has two possible sources, both of which are topographical. The first is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stigol" a steep ascent, from "stigan", to climb. The second source is from the Olde English "stigel", a stile; in both cases the name was given to a person who lived near these places. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The modern surname can be found as Styles, Style, Stile(s), Stickel and Stegel(l), and some of the genitive forms of the name are Steggals, Stiggles, Stickel(l)s and Stickles. The genitive forms described somebody "of" an area. One Henry Stiles set sail from London on the "Christian" in March 1634, bound for New England. Among the Church Recordings in London are the marriages of Ambrose Styles and Grace Edwards on June 26th 1768 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and James Styles and Elizabeth Scotton on May 1st 1786 at St. Martin's, Ludgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald atte Stighel, which was dated 1227, witness in the "Assize Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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