This interesting surname, with variant spellings Studdal, Stoodale, Steddall, Steddell, etc., is of English locational origin from a place called Studdal in Kent. The placename is recorded as Stodwolde in the Register of St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, and derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "stod" meaning stud, herd of horses plus "weald" a wood land; hence "wood where horses were kept". The surname is first found in the mid 16th Century, (see below). Recordings of the surname from the English church registers include; the marriage of Margrett Stedall and John Query took place on September 26th 1568, at Snodland, Kent; on November 23rd 1597, Jone Stedall married William Wright, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; William, son of William Stedall was christened on November 12th 1609, at Bearsted, Kent; and in September 1630, Katherine, daughter of John Stedall was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster. One of the earliest settlers in the new World was William Steddall, aged 26 yrs, who departed from London, aboard the "Plaine Joan", bound for Virginia, in May 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christian Stedall, who married John Greene, which was dated April 16th 1564, at Snodland, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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