This interesting surname, with variant spellings Stanbrook, Stanbrooke and Standbrooke, is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon.The component elements of the placename are believed to be the Olde English pre 7th Century "stan" meaning stone plus "broc" a brook; hence "stony brook". The surname first appears in the early half of the 17th Century (see below). Other recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; Thomas Stanbrooke, who was christened on May 27th 1638, at St. Thomas the Apostle; Elizabeth Standbrook, who married James Salsbury, on July 20th 1659, at St. Michael Bassinshaw; and Mary, daughter of John and Mary Standbrook, who was christened on April 2nd 1689, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Stanbrooke, which was dated May 3rd 1635, marriage to Elizabeth Fell, at the "Church of St. Gregory by St. Paul's, London", during the reign of King Charles 1st, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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