Recorded as Stapleton, Stapletun, and Stapletone, this is an ancient and noble English locational surname. It is also recorded in both Scotland and Ireland, although again the origination is from England. It originates from any of the various places called Stapleton in the counties of Cumberland, Gloucestershire, Hereford, Leicester, Shropshire, Somerset and particularly Yorkshire where various branches held great estates from medieval times. The earliest recording of the place name is to found in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Stapletone, Staplentun, and Stapleton. With exception of the Somerset place name, all appear to derive from the Olde English pre 7th century words 'stapol', meaning a boundary post or possibly the meeting place of the local court or parish council, and 'tun', a hamlet or settlement. The recording of the place in Somerset was originally as 'Stepleton', and derives from the Olde English word 'stepel', meaning a church spire or steeple, a very rare occurence before the 12th century when building in stone became the normal method for public buildings.
The surname is particularly popular in Ireland where it originates from a Norman family who entered the country with the army of King Henry 11 of England in 1170. Later some branches of this family became gaelicized adopting the name 'Mac an Ghaill', meaning the son of a foreigner. Bryan de Staplton was recorded in the wills records of Yorkshire in 1394, but the first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Randolf de Stapeltuna. This was dated 1166, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.