This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational name from any of the places called Studley in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stod" meaning stud farm, plus "leah", wood, clearing, hence a pasture for horses. The placename is recorded as "Stodlei" in the Domesday Book of 1086. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below). Variations in the spelling of the surname include: Stuteley, Stutley, Stutly, Stetlye, and Steutly. London Church Records list the christenings of Martin, son of Walter Stutly, on December 21st 1599 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, and of Anna Stutely on November 20th 1665, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is silver, a green fess between three black stags' heads cabossed. The Crest is a black stag's head cabossed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Stodley, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Leicestershire", 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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