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Origins of the Stanley surname

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What does the name Stanley mean?

The Stanley surname is English. The origin of the surname is geographic, with Middle English roots. It derives from the 'stan ley' (stony meadow) that has become a place name in a number of parts of the country. It would have been given to those who lived in or near this particular feature, or came from the areas of this name.

Alternative variations of the name Stanley

Stanley, Stanlie, Stanly, Stenley, Stanleye

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Stanleys live?

In 1921, most Stanleys lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Stanleys

How common is your surname?

280th most common surname in the UK

We have 128,000 records for the Stanley surname. The oldest one dates back to 1264.

Who were Stanleys most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Stanleys.

What are the most common Stanley first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Stanley family members

Common jobs for Stanleys

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Stanleys in 1921




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


General Servant


Common Male occupations for Stanleys in 1921
General Labourer


Agricultural Labourer


Coal Miner


Farm Labourer




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We found over 240,000 family trees with the Stanley surname

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