This famous Scottish surname is a locational name from an old barony of the name in the parish of Larbert, in Stirlingshire, Scotland. This placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "stan", stone and "hus", a house, dwelling. However, in some instances, the surname may be a variant of "Stonehouse", an English surname of topographical origin, given to someone who lived in a stone house; or of locational origin, from Stonehouse in Devon and Gloucestershire, both from the same Olde English elements as above.The surname first appears in Scotland at the start of the 13th Century (see below), while Alexander de Stonhuse appears in the Archaeological Records of Kent in 1257; and Roben of Stanhus was indicted and arrested for larceny in 1278. Other early recordings include Ranulf del Stonhouse, in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1332; Sir Robert Stanhus, a pope's knight, who was chaplain of Mariton in the diocese of Brechin in 1447; while John Stenhouse married Christian Walker on June 12th 1784, at Low Church, Paisley, in Renfrewshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Stanhus, which was dated 1200, in the "Register of the Monastery of Cambuskenneth", during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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