This name is of Northern english locational origin, either from Stainburn in Cumbria or in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The latter was first recorded as Stanburne in the anglo-Saxon Chronicles, dated 972, and as Stainburne in the Domesday Book of 1086, and the former as Steinburna c. 1125 in the Register of the Priory of St. Bees. Both places are so named from the Olde Norse "steinn" or Olde English "stan" meaning "stone", plus "burna", a stream; hence "stony stream". The surname is particularly well recorded in Yorkshire church registers from the late 16th Century, (see below).On June 24th 1579 Sarah, daughter of William Stainburne, was christened in Bilton Ainsty and on April 10th 1618, Jane, daughter of John Stainburn, was christened in the above parish. The marriage of Jane Stainburn and Charles Wheatly took place in St. Pancras Old Church, London in 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rychard Stainburne, an infant, which was dated December 15th 1577, christened in Bilton Ainsty, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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