This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is found particularly in the south western counties of Devon and Cornwall. It is a variant form of the more common name Stanlake, which can be either a topographical or a locational surname. In the former cases, the name denotes residence by "the stony stream", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stan", stone, with "lacu", stream. In the latter, the surname derives from some minor, unrecorded or "lost" place, believed to have been situated in Devonshire, near Hatherleigh; the placename is derived from the same Olde English elements as above. The modern surname has a number of variant forms, ranging from Stanlake and Stanlack to Stanlick, Stanlike, Stanlock and Stanluck. Among the recordings of the name in Devonshire Church Registers are the christening of Tristram Stanlake on February 17th 1590, at Black Torrington; the christening of Biniaman Stanlick, son of William, at St. Olave's, Exeter, on January 22nd 1720; and the marriage of Matthew Stanlick and Sarah Bound, on June 4th 1789, at Stoke Damerel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Stanlac, which was dated 1221, in the "Curia Rolls of Suffolk", 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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