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From time before my 11th generation great-grandfather Peter STAPLE (c1642-1718/19) to my 8th generation great-grandfather Nathaniel STAPLE (1727-1800) our family branch surname was STAPLE, however others called us STAPLES, eventually with my 7th generation great-grandfather Peter STAPLES (1755-1854)  the family name became STAPLES as it is today. Research shows that early STAPLE families all originated in England and an Administration filed in Feb. 1769 by my STAPLE family in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury documents that Peter Staple's ancestral home was in England south of the Humber. This is why my research of my family surname in England from about 1000 to 1699 is with the surname STAPLE

The National Archives Uniting the Kingdom - 1066-1603 - defines the name STAPLE as -
"A monopoly which gave the merchants of a particular town exclusive rights to buy certain kinds of goods for export."

Thus, the origin of the family surname STAPLE comes from the various village and port ‘place-names’ appointed by English and French monarchy to designate a settled marketplace for trade goods. The word STAPLE which designated a place where principal goods were stored and traded between countries eventually became to mean a place where principal commodities are bought and sold. 

EARLY HUMAN ORIGINS IN EUROPE & ASIA: Most family historians that have ancestors originating in Europe concentrate on a timeframe of about 500 years or the period in time when records can be found that connect families at each generation. It is interesting to note that modern man inhabited China and Southeast Asia before beginning to colonizing Europe and that human remains of extinct human species have been found in Asia and Europe that go back hundreds of thousands of years before modern man started to explore the continent. To see a brief timeline of Early Origins of Hunter-Gatherers to Farming click HERE 

The STAPLES SURNAME & DNA PROJECT (SSDP) was founded in September 2002 It was thought that the STAPLE & STAPLES surnames originated from a relatively small number of families in the same area of England and there was a strong probability that we were all related. Also, it was thought that there was a strong possibility that the STAPLE & STAPLES families of New England and Virginia in the USA were related. A genetic study of the participants in the SSDP answered the question of relationship of colonial STAPLE & STAPLES families. The study found that these families have not been related during the surname era for common people in England.

To date - Y-DNA test results through the SSDP have shown that having a surname that has its roots from a popular place-name like STAPLE has families that have not been related during the surname era. For example, the DNA Family Group of Peter STAPLE (c1642-1719) has no relationship to any of the other SSDP DNA Family Groups during the surname era. BMI for 1538-1650 indicates that STAPLE families primarily originated in areas located in the southeast and southwest of England, however they are absent from much of the central south of England during those years. From other DNA projects with surnames similar to STAPLE, such as Stapleton, Stapley, Stables, etc., the Y-DNA test results to date indicate that these families are not related to the Staple families since the start of the Church of England recording marriages and christenings (1538) of the common people in England. For more information on this subject see - Chapter II Family History Based on Genetic Data.

The "British Isles DNA Project" is extremely important to all surnames originating in the British Isles because one of the aims of the project is to construct a Y-DNA & mtDNA Haplotype Map of the British Isles by county. If you have had your DNA tested and are not a member of this project please join.

2) NUMBER OF STAPLE MARRIAGES BY COUNTY FROM 1538-1650, (abt 4 generations) from Boyd's Marriage Index (BMI)
To view the locations within each county and the number of marriages recorded in BMI from 1538 to 1700, in grouped years click HERE

STAPLE, 146: All counties are within the jurisdiction of the Perogative Court of Canterbury, below the Humber.
Cambridgeshire 1, Cornwall 11, Devonshire (Incl Exeter Diocese) 8, Essex 3, Gloucestershire 12, Hertfordshire 2, Kent 19, London (Incl. Diocese) 16, Middlesex 13, Norfolk 7, Somerset 17, Suffolk 6, Surrey 19, Sussex 4, Worcestershire 8.
London 2, Somerset 5.

WILLS 1493-1699: Website of The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey. Family History: Wills: All counties are within the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, below the Humber.
STAPLE, 40: Buckinghamshire 1, Devon 3, Dorset 4, Gloucestershire 1, Hampshire 1, Kent 10, Middlesex 1, London 3, Somerset 9, Surrey 2, Sussex 5.


Cambridgeshire; Stapleford.
Cumbria; Stapleton.
Devon; Staple Cross, Barnstaple *.
Essex; Stapleford Abbotts, Stapleford Tawney.
Gloucestershire, South; Staple Hill.
Hertfordshire; Stapleford, Stapleton.
Isle of Wight; Staplers.
Kent; Staplehurst, Staple, Staplestreet.
Leicestershire; Stapleford, Stapleton.
Lincolnshire; Stapleford.
Nottinghamshire; Stapleford.
Shropshire; Stapleton.
Somerset; Staple Fitzpaine, Staplegrove, Staplehay, Stapleton, Staple Lawns, Stapleton (City of Bristol), Stapley.
Sussex, East; Staplecross**.
Sussex, West; Staplefield, Staples Hill.
Wiltshire; Stapleford.
Worcestershire; Staple Hill.
Yorkshire, North; Stapleton.

*Barnstaple history claims that the name Barnstaple probably derives from old English "Bearda's Stapol" meaning the post, perhaps literally 'Trading Post of a man called Bearda', 9th, 10th century.

** Staplecross, Sussex Co.,  lies 9 miles north of hastings, during the middle ages and later it was the central point of the HUNDRED of STAPLE, consisting of the villages of Northiam, Ewhurst Green, Bodiam, and Sedlescombe, along with parts of Brede, Mountfield and Whatington. The Hundred was a Saxon territorial subdivision, named possibly because it contained 100 families, or provided 100 men-at-arms for the area. Ref: Staplecross History.

The first recorded surname using Staple that I have found to date is in England, in the Domesday Book for Nottinghamshire (re: DBi,f.287a,b, the land of William Peveral.), written in 1086 AD. There it States “In Stapleford, young Wufsi cilt, Staplewin, Godwin and Gladwin had two carrucates.” “In Mapperley Staplewin had 4 bovates of land taxable.” “In Thrumpton, Staplewin had three bovates ---“. Note; Staplewin was the holder or Soke Lord of these Manors for William Peverel. I understand that the ‘win’ after Staple means ‘friend of’’.

Date, A.D. 


Sources or Description

Ca 1200

Alan de Staple

Born just after 1200. resided at Staple Parish


John de Staple

of Staple near Odiham, Hampshire


Isabella Staple

Dau of Alan de Staple of Staple Parish sold one Virgate (30 acres) of land in the parish to Robert de Brues, Lord of the manor of Staple since 1229


John de Staple

of Winchester, Hampshire


John de Staple 

King’s servant


John de Staple

Sgt. At arms to King Edward I


Walter de Staple

Subsidy Rolls, Worcestershire


Robert atte Staple

Close Rolls


Osmund atte Staple

Place names of Surry


Peter de Staple

tenant at Staple, Cheshire


Richard de Staple

Feet of Fines, Essex


John de Staple

King’s Approver in Hereford Goal


John Stapel

Installed as 2nd Rector of Wambrook Chaperly


Henry Staple

3rd Rector of Wambrook Chaperly

REFERENCE: The above (in part) is found in the Staples Family History Association (1977-1987) Newsletter by James C. Staples, January 1981.


The Village of STAPLE, Nord, France is built around a square that in early times was used for the sale of Staple-goods, the town was also a resting place for Roman troops.

The ancient name Stapulas is a Latin name meaning warehouse. The land Title of the Lordship of Staple, was part of the Court of Cassel. It belonged in the 14th century to Robert de STAPLE, who was “Rewart” of Berques. He received this title in 1328 from Philip Duke of Burgundy, son of the King of France. In 1365 Eloi de STAPLE, was Bailiff of the Dame of Cassel. These facts are documented by letters in the towns and castles of Bergues, Cassel, Bourbough, Mardick, and Graveline.

The lord wore: Ermines with a fasce de gueles this Coat of Arms is used today by the present village of Staple in northern France and is illustrated on this websites 'Home' page.

History of Ancient Names and Documented Sources of the Village Staple 



Map archives of Saint-Bertain



Map Archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg



Map Archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg



Law of Pope Calixte II



Map archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg



Bishopree Samson, given by the Archbishop of Reims



Map archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg



Map archives of Notre Dame of Bourbourg



Small map arcive in Saint-Bertain



Overlord, Robert de Cassel, Estate Share



Robert de STAPLE, Lord Rewart of Berques



Eloi de STAPLE, Bailiff of the Dame of Cassel

 REFERENCE: Documemtation provided by the Mairie de STAPLE, 59190, Hazebrouck, France to Arthur & Evelyne Staples in July, 1997, at that time the population was 625.


6) What was the fate of Adam STAPLE, mercer, Lord Mayor of London in 1376-77?
a) The first Commoners Arms recorded in English History to a STAPLE was in 1359-60 to Adam STAPLE, mercer, d bef. 1384. Adam STAPLE, mercer, is recorded as one of the Sheriffs of London in 1371-72 and as Lord Mayor of London Oct 28, 1376 - Mar 21, 1377. According to 'The Survey of London by John Snow' - "The Londoners meant to have slain John duke of Lancaster. Adam Staple, mayor, put down, and Nicholas Brembar elected [Nicolas Brembar or Bramber was of the loyal Party, and later was knighted by King Richard II, was Adam 'put down' because his sympathies were with the insurgents?]. Also the aldermen were deposed, and others set in their places." Adam Staple is listed as a Alderman of London in 1372-77, 1378-9, 1380-1. Adam's term as Lord Mayor was at the end of the reign of Edward III, Richard II became King four years before the 'Pheasants Revolt of 1381'. We find Adam as one of the alderman in 1381, he dies before 1384. During this revolt many Englishmen died, what was the fate of Alan who died between 1381 and 1383, did he leave a family?
This revolt is on the internet as a downloadable pdf file. Search 'The Great Revolt of 1381' Charles Oman.

b) Adam STAPLE a Commoner’s Arms in England:
Adam STAPLE, Mercer; Alderman, City of London, 1372-77, 1378-9, 1380-1; Mayor of London 1377; died before 1384. fess between cross and annulet (1359-60). Burke’s has (Ar.) a salitre (gu.) between four staples (sa.) for this Mayor.

REFERENCE: Compiled from two sources – the Merchant Class of Medieval London, by Sylvia Thrupp, Chicago, 1948; Catalogue of Seals in the Public Record Office, by Roger Ellis, 1979-81, HM Stationery Office; (in part)

7) Who was Staple Island and Staple Sound named after?
South of Berwick upon Tweed, border village between England and Scotland, is the village of Bamburgh who's recorded history begins in 547 AD. dominated by Bamburgh Castle which overlooks the Farne Islands. The Farne Islands can be broken into two main groups, the first is dominated by the largest and most famous, Inner Farne. For many years this was the home of St Cuthbert who lived here in solitude and died in the year 687 AD. The second group is a mile away across the STAPLE Sound is STAPLE Island. 
8) Men of the Liberty of the Cinque Ports, 1334-35: The Kent Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1334/35, Vol. 18, p 84. lists the names of Thomas de STAPLE and John de STAPLE with 6 others as 'Men of Liberty of the  Cinque Ports'. The Cinque Ports were first mentioned in a Royal Charter of 1155, according to the charter the members of the Cinque Ports had the right to : "soc and sac, tol and team, bloowit and fledwit, pillory tumbril infangentheof, outfanentheof, mundbryce waives and stays, fotsam and jetsam and ligan." For certain privileges these men and ships could be called upon by the crown in times of strife. It seems that the ships and men of the Cinque Ports would often carry on fighting after peace had been reached and for many years got away with what amounted to open piracy around the Kent and Sussex coast, the final blow to their power was the formation of a real and full-time navy. Source: From the internet: Kent Records & Kent Resources 11/21/2004.


9) A 'Humble Christian named STAPLE', 1528:

During the reign of Henry VIII, Thomas Bilney, Cambridge Preacher and Lutheran sympathizer was dragged from his pulpit and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1528, he was burned at the stake in 1531. Part of this story is "Bilney, drawing still nearer to London, arrived at Greenwich about the middle of July (1528). He procured some New Testaments, and, hiding them carefully under his clothes, called upon a humble Christian named STAPLE. Taking them 'out of his sleeves,' he desired STAPLE to distribute them among his friends." From 'Friends of William Tyndale', 'History of the English Bible', 'The Martydom of Bilney, Tewskbury and Bayfield.


) The Mystery of Dr. Alexander STAPLE: "Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists", 2nd Edition, by David Faris, P90-92, Claypoole: Lists p91, Elizabeth Claypoole married Dr. Alexander STAPLE. Elizabeth, through marriage of the Claypoole, Wingfield, Goushill, Fitz Alan and de Bohn families, is a direct descendant of Edward 1st, King of England and Alianore de Castille. "The Howard Lineage" by Gustine Courson Weaver: On p157 has a transcript of a letter written by Elizabeth's brother Benjamin Claypoole in London. 22e March. 1706-7, Benjamin Claypoole is the youngest son of John and Mary (Angell) Claypoole. Benjamin gives the order of birth of  John and Mary Claypoole's 14 children. Elizabeth is the third born. Benjamin states "Elizabeth who married Doctor Alexander STAPLE an English Knight but his estates was in Ireland". P158, gives the marriage date for John and Mary (Angell) Claypoole as June 8, 1622. Their 9th born is James, born 8 mo. 1634. 9 children in 12 years or an average of 1 child every 1 1/3 years, places Elizabeth, their 3rd born at c 1626. It is noted she died in 1681. Who is this Dr Alexander STAPLE? Note: John and Mary (Angell) Claypole or Claypoole are also listed in "The Magna Charta Sureties", 1215, 5th Ed., by Weis p 28-29, Line 21A.

11) Who were the "Men of Armour", Woodchester
England, 1608:

John STAPLE, Weaver & Thomas STAPLE, Clothier.


Revised 04 Oct 2012

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