Recorded in several spelling forms including Stearndale, Sterndale, and Stilldale, this is an English locational surname. It derives from the village of Sterndale in the county of Derbyshire. The derivation being from the pre 7th century Olde English and Norse Viking 'stan dael', meaning 'stony valley'. This is a rather surprising name as arguably all dales in the Derbyshire region are stony. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say that they were generally given to people after they left their original homes and moved 'elsewhere' as an easy form of identification.This could be the next village, or it could be the supposed 'mecca' of London. This city with its roughly half a million inhabitants, was, until the 17th century, the only place that most country people would have had any knowledge, however incorrect! As spelling was at best erratic and local dialects very thick, variant forms of almost all surnames were created. In this case early examples of the name recordings taken from surviving church registers of the post Reformation period include: George Sternade, who married Ann Knyveton at Youlgreave, Derbyshire, on July 1st 1575, Anne Stearndale, who married George Wearye at St Olaves church, Old Jewry, and John Sterndale, a witness at St Ann's church Blackfriars, on December 12th 1763, both the latter being from the registers of the city of London.
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