This ancient and distinguished name, recorded in the spellings of Stansfield, Standfield, and Stanfield, is of Anglo-Saxon origins. It is a locational surname deriving in most cases from the village of Stansfield in West Yorkshire, or from Stanfield, near Dereham, in the county of Norfolk. The placenames are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Stanesfelt". The village names translate from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Stan", meaning 'tough and hardy', with "feld", a large area suitable for agriculture. The given name "Stan" is derived from "stan" as in stone, but used a nickname, or as a short form of various compound names with this first element, such as Stanheard, "stone-hardy". The alternative interpretation refers to a monolith, "open land of the stone". Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early recordings of the name include Geoffrey atte Sondfield in the 1279 rolls of Somerset, and Richard Stanfeld in Norfolk in 1329. Most bearers of the name (as Stansfield) are derived from Yorkshire, and examples of the recordings include the christening of Richard Stansfield, at Monk Frystone, on February 23rd 1567, and the marriage of John Stansfield and Agnes White on May 16th 1585 in Halifax, Yorkshire. Other recordings are those Wenefrede Standfeild who died in Clerkenwell, London, in 1587,and John Standfield, who married Mary Tray in Canterbury in 1683. An early Coat of Arms granted to nameholders has the blazon of a silver chevron between three silver goats, passant, on a green shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Stanesfeld, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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