This is a locational surname, which may derive from one of the several places called Studley, but is almost certainly from Stoodleigh, Near Tiverton, in Devon. It is possible that some nameholders, although very few, may derive from the village of Stoodley Pike, near Todmorden, formerly in the West Riding of Yorkshire. However whether from Studley, Stoodleigh, or Stoodley, the name translation is the same being 'The horse stud farm' from the Olde English pre 7th century 'Stod leah'. Early surnames were usually locational and this is a good example. Perhaps not surprisingly by the end of the 13th century, the name was widespread in England. Examples included William de Stodley of Leicester in 1273, and Thomas de Studle of Bedford in 1293. Slightly later recordings included Thomas Stoodlie of Dorset in 1584, and John Stodlie who married Agnes Hillaire at Stoke Abbot on May 25th 1594. In Yorkshire John Stoodley of Skipwith, East Riding, is recorded on June 20th 1675, and an unfortunate Stoodley, was John Stoodley of Trent, Dorset, who was a Monmouth Rebel, and as such was sent to Barbados under a sentence of 10 years hard labour on October 28th 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Stodleghe, which was dated 1272, The pipe rolls of County Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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