This interesting surname of Anglo-Saxon origin is derived from the Middle English given name Stanhard (Old English pre 7th Century Stanheard), composed of the elements "stan" meaning stone plus "heard" hardy, brave or strong. The surname dates back to the late 11th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Ralph Stanhard (1221 Ely, Cambridgeshire), and Laurence Stannard (1327) The Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Stonard, Stonhard, Stonner, Stanett, Stennard etc.. Astyne Stannarde married Amyes Valle on April 24th 1576, at St. Mary Somerset, London. Janne Stannard married Lawrence Lytton on August 7th 1594 at St. Katherine by the Tower, London and Marye Stanard married James Ellyson on September 15th 1609, at St. Bride, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Stanhard, which was dated 1221, in the Ancient Records of Ely, Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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