Please be aware that there is more than one coat of arms for this surname. If you would like this particular coat of arms, you must describe it on your order form. If you don't describe it on your order form, we will provide you with the oldest coat of arms on record for this surname, which may or may not be the one pictured above.
The ancestors of the Stanley surnname were of England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from the Old English word "stanley" which means "a stony clearing or stony field." Stanley is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the landscape or area were used to distinguish people from one another. In this case the original bearers of the surname Stanley were named due to their close proximity to the stanley.
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Stanley has been recorded under many different variations, including Stanley, Standley, Stanleigh, Stoneley and others.
First found in Cumberland where they were seated from very ancient times, on the lands of Stoneley forty years before the Conquest in 1066.
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Stanley or a variant listed above: Christopher Stanley and his wife Susanne, who settled in Boston Mass in 1635; George and Alice Stanley settled in Virginia in 1656; Joseph and his wife Elizabeth Stanley settled in Georgia in 1732.
Motto Translated: Without changing.
Suggested Readings for the name Stanley
* Sands Stanley of the Pee Dee Valley by Haywood A. Stanley.
* Stanley Families of America by Harold S. Langland.
* Whither Though Goest: a Story of the Stanley Family in Virginia, North Carolina, Kansas and Oklahoma by Elnora Stanley Flahery.
Some noteworthy people of the name Stanley
* George Stanley (1875-1951), American actor
* Ralph Stanley (b. 1927), American, influential bluegrass musician.
* Wendell Meredith Stanley (1904-1971), American biochemist, who shared a 1946 Nobel Prize
* Edward George Villiers Stanley (1865-1948), 17th Earl of Derby, English politician
* Sir Charles Stanley (1819-1894), Governor General of British North America in 1861 and the first Governor General of Canada in 1867
* John Thomas Stanley (1766-1850), created 1st Baron Stanley of Alderley in 1839