This is an English surname of great antiquity, and also one of the very first prominent surnames of America. It is locational from either of two places called Standish in the English counties of Gloucestershire and Lancashire. In Gloucestershire the first recording of the place name is as early as the year 872 a.d in the spelling of Stanedis, and in Lancashire it appears as Stanesdis in the year 1178. In both cases the meaning is the same being the park enclosed by a stone wall, from the Olde English pre 7th century words stan, meaning stone, and edisc, an enclosed park. There are three versions of the modern surname, Standish, Standidge, and Standage. The name of Miles Standish (1584 - 1656) is an important one in the history of the early settlers in the New World. He was a soldier of fortune, and from 1620 onwards the military leader of the Pilgrim Fathers, thus ensuring the success of the Plymouth colony. He is celebrated for his exploits against the Indians in poems by Longfellow and Lowell, and his descendants are still prominent in American life in the 20th century. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Stanedis. This was dated 1206, in the Curia Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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