This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is thought to be either a locational name from some place so called, or a topographical name from residence by a stile in a meadow, or by "Sticca's meadow". The component elements of the name are the Olde English pre 7th Century "stigol", stile, plus "leah", a meadow or clearing in a wood. The initial element may also have been the Olde English personal name "Sticca", from "sticca", a stick. In some instances the surname may be a variant of "Stockley", a locational name from places in Devon and Durham so called, deriving from the Olde English "stocc", tree trunk and "leah", as before. The surname is first recorded from this latter source in the late 13th Century (see below), and other early examples of the surname include: the christening of Sarah Stickly, daughter of Thomas Stickly, on February 17th 1590 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London; the marriage of Agnes Stickley and Edward Cock on November 12th 1595 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and the marriage of Jane Stickley and William Fowles on January 15th 1792 at St. James's, Bath, in Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Stockleye, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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