It is sometimes easier to find recordings of a surname than to be able to decide the origin and meaning. This is one of those names. Recorded in several spelling forms including Stiant, Stiants, Styant and Styants, this is almost certainly one of the many variant nickname or developed forms of the ancient baptismal name "Stigmund". This was an Anglo-Saxon name probably introduced into England about the 6th century a.d, although the surname is much later. The name translates as "Victory protection", although the literal meaning at the time may have been quite different. Another possibility for the origin, is also a personal name, in this case Stephen. There are over one hundred spellings of this famous name introduced into England about the time of the Norman Invasion. One of the medieval forms of Stephen was Styvani, which allowing for post medieval dialects and spelling, comes close to the later surname. Examples of the recordings taken from authentic surviving church registers of the 17th century include William Stiant, who married Mary Freeman at St James church, Clerkenwell, on December 14th 1707, and Sarah Styants, who married Henry James Hichisson, at St Anne's Soho, Westminster, on February 7th 1831. The first recording we have is that of Johes Styant, who married Susanna Tonge, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 31st 1641. This was during the reign of King Charles 1st, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649.
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