This is an English surname of medieval origins. It is either locational from one of the many places which have Stoney or Stony as the prefix such as Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire or Stoney Stratton in Somerset, or from residence by or at an 'island' which was particularly stoney or gravelley. The derivation in all cases is from the Olde English pre 7th century 'stan-eg' which literally translates as stoney island. However the 'island' in question may not have been a place surrounded by water, it could have equally referred to a rocky outcrop or hill, which rose above the surrounding land.Locational or residential surnames were often "from" names. That is to say names that were given to people after they left their original homes, to move somewhere else. The easiest means of identification of such a stranger being to call him, or occassionally as with this surname, her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Education over the centuries being at best erratic and often non-existent, and local dialects almost foreign languages, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case the earliest known recording of the surname in any form is believed to be that of Amica de Staneya. This was in the year 1328, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England (1327 - 1377) when she appeared in the register of tenants of the abbey of Whalley, in the county of Lancashire.
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