This is an interesting English locational name from the village of Stapley in Cheshire and in Hampshire. The placenames are recorded as 'Stapeleg' in 1260 and 1185 respectively and derive from the Old English pre 7th century 'stapol', meaning post,or pillar, and 'leah', meaning wood, clearing. The surname would therefore denote someone who lived at, or by, the wood where timber was obtained to make posts. Locational names were given to landowners of the area, particularly the lord of the manor, and to those who moved from it to live or work in another village or area.Anthony Stapley (1590 -1655), was a regicide, one of those who signed the death - warrant of Charles I. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Stapeley which was dated 1273, The Hundred rolls, Sussex during the reign of Edward I, 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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