This rare and interesting surname is a variant of MacEvilly, which is of Irish origin, and is an example of the assumption by Norman families of surnames of a Gaelic type, and the formation under those designations of what practically amounts to septs or sub-septs on the Gaelic model; the Normans invaded Ireland in circa 1170. In the case of this surname, the Staunton's assumed the name MacEvilly. The surname MacEvilly is derived from the Gaelic 'Mac an Mhilidh', son of Mileadh, which means warrior or knight. The family of Staunton settled in Connacht and they acquired territory in the baronies of Clanmorris and Carra. The MacEvilly's have, to a large extent, reverted to the name Staunton, so that today, recordings of the surname are very rare. The surname can be found as MacEvilly, MacEveley, McEvela and Eeuelley. The christening was recorded in Ireland of Thomas, son of Milles Eeuelley on December 12th 1683 at St. John the Evangelist, Dublin. Terance McEvela married Mary Burke on February 11th 1847 at St. Nicholas', Liverpool, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mylie MacEvily, which was dated 1585, Kinturke, County Mayo, Ireland, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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