The surname Staveley is not tremendously common, but appears to be pre-Norman in origin. The purpose of this website is to serve as a central repository for Staveley family history, and to facilitate the ongoing research into this ancient family name. This site is the product of more than a hundred individuals worldwide who are striving to piece together their Staveley ancestries.
The purpose of this site is to present the probable origins of this family line, and to piece together the lineages and migrations of many of these Staveley families through time. If you are researching your associations with the name Staveley, whether by marriage or descent, we encourage you to join our discussion forum to connect with others who may also be researching your family of interest.
There has been a wealth of research undertaken in recent years, and the forum provides an opportunity for others to contact individuals who may be researching a particular family line. Abridged versions of the results of some of this research have been posted here under Family Lineages. Although some lineages are presented with pictorial family trees to help demonstrate known family relationships, the intent here is not to provide instant family pedigrees, but to present the history of each Staveley lineage as it is presently understood. This site is arranged geographically, as often during discussions this is how we identify a particular lineage of interest "of Yorkshire" or "of Lancashire". As a family moves from one location to another, they can be followed to their new county or town of residence on this site. Ancestral research is a dynamic process, and as new documentation is uncovered the conclusions regarding a particular family line may change and be corrected accordingly.
Numerous individuals with an interest in genealogy only strive to compile lists of names and dates that pertain to when and where their ancestors existed. That is absolutely not the purpose of this site. Those of us researching the Staveley ancestry recognize the importance of understanding the individual character, local history, ways of life, and cultural and religious customs of the day as they provide a far greater insight into the rich history that shaped our ancestor's lives. As such it is necessary when compiling such a history that documents beyond records of birth and death be consulted. Wills can uncover evidence of family feuds, or extended family associations. Coroner's reports may uncover familial patterns of disease within a particular lineage. Court documents may uncover an occasional family rogue, provide evidence of a family's religious conviction, or quarrels pertaining to land ownership. Any such documentation can only serve to enhance our understanding and appreciation of who our ancestors were and how they lived.
It is easy to romanticize the past, and although life may have been good for some Staveley families in the past, for others the day to day life was a significantly greater struggle. Many critical events have occurred during the past four centuries that have altered the paths of many Staveley families. They have lived through plagues and pestilence, wars, religious persecutions, and extreme economic depressions, and family dishonor. It seems apparent however that the family has retained its strength and fortitude through the centuries, and continues to maintain a strong presence in the world today.