This very unusual and interesting name is of locational origin, deriving from the place in London called 'Steelyard'. The placename is a mistranslation of the Germanic phrase 'Stalhof', which means 'sample yard', from 'stal', sample or pattern and 'hof', courtyard. 'Steelyard' is on the north bank of the Thames above London Bridge, where the merchants of the Hanseatic League (a medieval guild of merchants) had their establishment. The name came to be used of similar places in other provincial towns. One 'Anstisa Stillard' married 'William Wood' on the 6th August 1633 in Tottenham, London, and 'Peter Stilliard' married 'Sarah Yates' on the 1st February 1789 at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Stilliard, christened, which was dated 24th March, 1585, Heigham, Norfolk, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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