This apparently English surname is nearly always Irish, although originally of English stock. It is understood to be one of the first, if not the first, of all English surnames in Ireland and according to the famous Irish Etymologist Edward MacLysaght they settled in Connaught after the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland in the year 1170. Subsequently the Stauntons held the baronies of Clanmorris and Carra and many adopted the gaelic 'MacEvilly', which translates as 'The son of the knight'. However in the 16th century the MacEvilly's reverted to being called Staunton, to the point where MacEvilly or Evilly are now very rare surnames.Furthermore the name is now recorded as Stanton and Staunton, although in fact both spellings have the identical Olde English meaning of either 'The stony Farm' or possibly 'Stan's Farm', the latter being a personal name, although in fact 'Stan' also means 'stone'! Villages called Stanton or Staunton are found in several English counties, the first recording of such a village is probably 'Stantune', in the rolls of Herefordshire in the year 958 a.d., although the surname is much later. Examples of these recordings include Alix de Stanton in Cambridge in the year 1273, whilst Sir George Staunton (1737 - 1801) was an early explorer in China, and Michael Staunton was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1860. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip Mor de Stondon, which was dated 1170, a commander of the Earl of Pembroke's army to Ireland, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The church builder', 1154 - 1189. 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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