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Starley Coat of Arms / Starley Family Crest

Starley Coat of Arms / Starley Family Crest

The name STARLEY was derived from the Old English word STOERLING, and it was a nickname from some fancied resemblance to the bird. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name is also spelt STARLING, STARLY and STERLING. Early records of the name mention Starlingus (without surname) listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Willelmus Starling was documented in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1166. Later instances of the name mention the baptismal of Christopher, son of Thomas Starling, at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1622. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. A notable member of the name was James STARLEY (1831-81) the English inventor, born in Albourne, Sussex. He worked in a factory in Coventry manufacturing sewing machines and bicycles, and invented a new improved sewing-machine and the 'Coventry' tricycle. He also invented the 'Ariel' geared bicycle in 1871, and set up as a manufacturer of these. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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