Recorded in the spellings of Stanbridge, Stambridge, Stembridge and Stenbridge, this is an English locational surname. It is of Olde English pre 7th Century origin and describes a person who lived by a stone causeway, as is found in any of the villages called Stembridge in Somerset, Stanbridge in Bedfordshire, Stambridge in Essex, and possibly others. The development is from the words 'stan brug', or stone causeway, the maning as 'bridge' being later. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say that they were given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. It being the easiest form of identification to name a 'stranger' by the place from whence he or sometimes she, came from. Spelling being at best problematical, and local dialects very 'thick', often lead to the development of variant spellings. Early examples of the recording of this name include: Walter Stenbrigge and Stephen Stenbrugge, in the rolls of the the county of Somerset, in the year 1330. Amongst the surviving church register recordings are those of Edward Stambridge, a witness at Christ Church, Greyfriars, London, on January 24th 1574, Ann Stanbridge, married at St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, London, on July 1st 1760, and Mathew Stembridge, who married Elizabeth Sloodley at St Albans church, Wood Street, city of London, on March 10th 1806. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Stanbrugge. This was dated 1328, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Somerset, and during the reign of King Edward 111 of England. He was known as the Father of the Navy, and had a long reign from 1327 to 1377. 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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