This name is of English locational origin from Stoneleigh in Warwickshire or from Stonely in Huntingdonshire, recorded as Stanlei in the Domesday Book of 1086 for both counties. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stan", meaning "stony", plus "leah", an open place in a wood. The surname is particularly well recorded in Warwickshire Church Registers from the mid 16th Century, (see below). On July 8th, 1565 Anna Stoneley, an infant, was christened at Marbury and on December 8th 1579, Robert Stoneley and Margaret Curtiss were married in Wolfhampcote. On January 6th 1679 one Thomas Stoneley appears on a Militia Roll List of Lt. Colonell John Codrington's company in the Barbados. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Stoneley married Thomas Rodforde, which was dated October 14th 1553 at Southampton, Warwickshire, during the reign of King Edward VI, The Boy King, 1547 - 1553. 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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