This interesting surname is of English locational origin from any of several places thus called e.g., in Derbyshire and Lancashire. The placename is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "stub(b)" meaning tree stump plus "leah" a wood, clearing; hence "a patch where the trees had been felled, leaving only stumps". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below). One, William de Stubleye, appears in the Essex Feet of Fines (1313). In the modern idiom, the surname is also found with variant spellings Stubbeley and Stubbley. On October 3rd 1653, Hezekiiah, son of William and Anne Stubley was christened at St. Mary, Whitechapel, Stepney. Demaris Stubley and Edward Cooke were married at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, on January 17th 1681. Elizabeth, daughter of John and Elizabeth Stubley was christened on December 3rd 1700 at St. James, Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Stublegh which was dated 1239, in the "Feet of Fines of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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