WHERE OUR NAME ORIGINATES
This intriguing name has proved a mystery to surname researchers for many years. The surname is found chiefly in the eastern counties of Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex, which usually suggests a location origin, from some now "lost" place, but there is no evidence as yet of such a placename.
The name is believed to be of early medieval English origin, and to derive from either of two nicknames. Firstly, the name may derive from a nickname for a valiant, sturdy, "strong-armed" person, from an abbreviated form of the Middle English "stallward, stalworth", sturdy, brave (from the Olde English "stael", place, and "Wierthe", worthy), with "brace", from the Olde French "brase", (two)arms.
Interestingly, the term "stalward, stalworthy" has generated the surname Stalladay or Stolliday, found mainly in East Anglia (Stallerdie, 1621, Norfolk).
The second possible nickname source is derived from the Middle English "stale", Olde English "stalu", rung of a ladder, long slender handle, as of a rake, with "brace", as before; Hence, a name for someone with stick like arms.
Examples from Church registers include: The marriage of Richard Stallibrass and Margaret Parker in Reed, Hertfordshire, on November 5th 1553, and the christening of Sarah, daughter of Edward Stallibrass, at St. Botolphs, Colchester, Essex, on December 2nd 1683.
Other forms of the name are: Stallybras (1564); Stallebrasse (1577); Stollebrace (1587); and Stallabrace (1662).
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Stallebras, which was dated May 7th 1539, witness to the christening of his daughter, Katherine, in Barkway, Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547.