Richard Stith (Steth)
|Also Known As:||"Richard Steth", "Richard Styth"|
|Birthplace:||Kirkham Parish, Lancashire, England|
|Death:||Died in Kirkham Parish, Lancashire, England|
|Managed by:||Private User|
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About Richard Stith
Richard Stith was born November 28, 1550 in Kirkham Parish, Lancashire, England and died there in 1608. He married Joan Baine in Kirkham Parish, Lancashire. She was born c.1552. They were the parents of John Stith, born August 24, 1572.
This is the start of the Stith history. This is as far back as this family can be found in records. Of course, there were Stiths in England before 1550, as shown in the article below, but Richard is the starting point for this genealogy.
The surname of STITH was a German nickname for a stupid and clumsy fellow. The name was derived from the Old German word STYTTELL, and brought into England at an early date.
Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans.
The name is also spelt STITTLE, STITT and STUTTLE.
Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name.
The earliest of the name on record in England appears to be Wluuin STETTELL, who was recorded in 1095 in County Suffolk, and Ralph STUTTEEL was documented in Northumberland in the year 1179. John STETTELL was mentioned in a document in 1319 in County Essex.
The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages.