This famous surname is early medieval English, although of French origins. It was originally given as a "nickname surname" for someone regarded as impetuous or hot-headed, or perhaps one who was recklessly brave and fierce in combat. The derivation is from the Olde French "Estourdi", itself a descendant from pre-Christian era Roman Latin "essedarius", a fighter in a war chariot!. In Middle English, during the change from the official French introduced into England after the 1066 Invasion and the original Olde English, still spoken by most of the population, the "new" word became "Stourdi".Early examples of the surname development taken from authentic rolls and charters of the period include Hugo Sturdy in the Yorkshire rolls of the year 1219, and Geoffrey Sturdi in the Oxfordshire charters for 1220. A later recording of interest is that of Joseph Sturdy, an early colonist to the New World. He left London on the ship "Mathew" in May 1635, bound for St. Christophers in the West Indies. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Estordet, which was dated 1084, the Geld Rolls of Wiltshire, during the reign of King William I, The Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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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