This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Stayley or Staley, an ecclesiastical district and suburb of Stalybridge in the Longdendal parish of Cheshire. Stalybridge, formerly known as "Staveley", was recorded as "Stavelay" in the Coucher Book of Furness Abbey, dated 1282, and derives its name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "staef", stave, piece of wood, with "leah", an open place in a wood, a clearing. Stawley in Somerset, appearing as "Stawei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Stauleyg" in the 1236 Book of Fees for Somerset, may also be the source of the surname. On August 1st 1597, Wyllyam Stalye and Ellyne Pommery were married in Sidmouth, Devonshire, and on December 31st 1609, Richard, son of John Staley, was christened in Nantwich, Cheshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Staley family is described thus: Argent, a chevron azure between three lozenges sable. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Staley, which was dated 1389, in the "Records of East Cheshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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