This is an English locational name of Anglo-Saxon origin. Recorded as Stockleigh, Stockley, Stoacley, Stoackley, Stoakley, Stockly and others, it originates from any of the places called Stockleigh or Stockley in the counties of Devonshire, Staffordshire and County Durham. The place names are first recorded respectively as Stochelie in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, Stochilea in the pipe rolls of 1170, and Stocaleia in the Subsidy Rolls of 1308. The meaning is either the wood from which stocks, that is to say tree stumps or logs were obtained, and derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "stocc", meaning a stump, and "leah", a wood or glade. Alternatively it may describe a wood belonging to the farm, from the Old English "stoc", meaning a dairy-farm, and "leah" as before. John and Mary Stockley were early emigrants to the New World of the American colonies. They are recorded as obtaining tickets to sail to Jamaica on the ship the "Two Brothers" in February 1678. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Pagan de Stockleye. This was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England and known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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