This name is of northern English locational origin from a valley in Cumberland and in the north riding of Yorkshire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stocc", a tree trunk or large tree stump, plus "dael", a valley. The surname from the former source is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century, (see below). One, William de Stokdale appears in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire". On October 28th 1576 Edward Stockdale, an infant was christened in Daleston, Cumberland, and in 1593 Gregory Stockdale of Yorkshire appears in the Oxford University Register. An interesting naembearer was Percival Stockdale (1736 - 1811) an author who went to London circa 1760 and conducted the "Critical Review" and "Universal Magazine". He defended Pope's writings against Warton's "Essays" in 1778. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de (of) Stokdale, which was dated 1332, The Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward III, The Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. 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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