Recorded in many forms as shown below, this interesting surname is English. It is or rather was, occupational for a stonecutter, one who cut and dressed stone. The name is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'stan', meaning stone, to which was added a fused and reduced form of 'hewer', an agent derivative of 'hewen', meaning to cut. Occupational surnames were amongst the first of all surnames to be created. However they did not become hereditary unless a son followed his father into the same line of business.The early name development since the medieval period has included: Richard Stener in the poll tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, John Stonehewer in the Will Register of the county of Cheshire in 1606, and Nathaniell Stanyar in the same county in 1689. The modern surname can be found as Stanier, Stanyer, Stanary, Stonier, Stonier, Stonary, Stonuary, Stonhewer and possibly others. Amongst surviving examples of recordings in church registers are the marriage of Roger Stanier and Ann Hawkins on July 17th 1692 at Mucklestone, in Staffordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Thomas Stonhewar. This was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, and known to history as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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