Recorded in many forms including Stalf, Stalfe, Stallfass, Stallfers, Stalfmann, Stalfert, Stalfort, and possibly others, this is a German surname. It is believed to originate from the pre 7th century word 'stahl' meaning steel, and hence would probably have described either a steel worker, or as a nickname 'a man of steel'. One of the problems with all names of niickname grouping, is that without actually being present when it the name was 'bestowed' anything upto a thousand years ago, it is not possible to give any absolute certainties as to the actual meaning. Words change their meaning as well as their spelling over the centures, and this may well be an example. The surname is well recorded in the surviving German registers and charters. Examples include Fridrich Stahl of Salzburg in the year 1285, and later Joseph Stalf of Mosbach in Baden on May 22nd 1712. In England the only recording before the 20th century would seem to be that of James Stalfort, at the church of St John the Baptist, Shoreditch, on March 28th 1866.
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