Select Stone Surname Genealogy

The surname Stone comes from the Old English stan meaning "stone."  It could describe someone who lived on stony ground or by a stone marker; or it could derive from a place-name of Stone (of which there were many in England).  An eminent Stone befitting the name was Nicholas Stone, the 17th century master mason to James I and Charles I.

Select Stone Resources on The Internet

Select Stone Ancestry

England.  Early spellings were Stanes, Stane and Ston.  The Stone name had no geographic focus and sprung up in various parts of the country.  Stone families from the 16th century included:
  • the Stones of Trevigo in Cornwall
  • the Stones of Wedmore in Somerset
  • the Stones of Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire                                                            
  • the Stones of Bedingham Hall in Norfolk
  • and the Stones of Croston in Lancashire (from whence came William Stone, early emigrant to America).
Stone, originally atte Stone, has been traced back to Ardleigh and Great Bromley in Essex in the early 1400ís.  This line produced the Puritan Gregory Stone who emigrated to New England in 1635.  There were also Stones at Clayhanger in Devon, beginning with Richard Stone, yeoman, who was born there in the late 1570ís.

William Stone from Segenho in Bedfordshire trained as a haberdasher and prospered in London in the 1580's. The family made enough money that Thomas Stone was able to build his country pile, Carr House, in 1613 at Hoole in Lancashire.  Meanwhile, later in the 18th century, London-born Andrew Stone was an influential figure in royal circles; while his brother George, having taken holy orders, was Primate for All Ireland.

The 1881 distribution of the Stone name showed it spread around the country, with clusters around London and the southeast, in the west country, and in Lancashire.

Stones in Derry date back to 1566 with the birth of Richard Stone there.  William and Jane Stone emigrated from there to South Carolina in the 1770ís. 

AmericaEarly arrivals were into New England and Virginia:

New England.  Early Stones in New England were:
  • Simon Stone and his brother Gregory who arrived on the Increase in 1635.  Simon settled in Watertown and Gregory in Cambridge.  A descendant of Gregory's, David Stone, grew up in North Carolina and was Senator and Governor of that state in the early 1800's.  J.G. Bartlettís 1917 book Gregory Stone Genealogy covered his line.
  • Hugh Stone who came to Rhode Island on the Deborah as a young lad in 1657.  He lived on in Rhode Island until 1723, dying in Providence at the age of ninety.   The family history was covered in Richard Stone's 1866 book Genealogy of the Stone Family
  • and another Hugh Stone who married Hannah Foster in Andover, Massachusetts in 1666.  In 1689 Hugh Stone murdered his wife by cutting her throat in a drunken rage and was hanged on Gibbet Plain.
Virginia and the SouthWilliam Stone, born into a Lancashire merchant family, had come to Virginia as a young man in 1628 and succeeded as a merchant and a planter there.  He then left Virginia for the new colony of Maryland and was appointed its governor in 1648 after having drawn Protestant settlers there.  As a reward he was granted "as much land as he could ride around in a day." 

More than a hundred years later his great grandson Thomas was a signer of the Declaration of Independence as the representative for Maryland; while brother John was Governor of Maryland from 1794 to 1797 and other Stones played prominent roles in the civic life of Maryland at that time.  Charles Stone's 1951 book The Stones of Surry traced the line from Enoch Stone.

Stones were later prominent in Mississippi as planters.  William Stone was one of the first settlers of Panola county, arriving there from Kentucky; J.H. Stone came to Tremont from Alabama; and Asher and Judith Stone to Tishomingo county from Virginia via Tennessee.  Their son John Marshal Stone, who fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War, became Mississippi's Governor and, with his two terms of service, its longest-running Governor.

Canada.  There were early records of a probable Loyalist, David Stone, in New Brunswick in the 1780's.  John Stone of English ancestry arrived from Ireland in 1820, married and settled to farm first in Elizabethtown and then in Orford, Ontario.  One son Frederick became a lawyer, another Thomas ran a dry goods store.  A grandson Thomas became one of Canada's foremost diplomats.

Australia and New Zealand.  The Stone name is very much attached to the early history of Western Australia.  Alfred and George Stone had come out to the Swan river settlement in the early 1830's as lawyers.  George's son Edward Stone was a long-serving judge of the colony.  He wrote his memoirs Some Old-Time Memories in 1918.

Other Stones were:
  • Benjamin Stone, born in Essex, who enlisted in the British army with the 70th Regiment and served in India.  On his discharge in 1861 he set sail on the Daniel Rankin for Auckland, New Zealand.  He died there in 1889.
  • and John and Harriet Stone who arrived in Queensland from Devon in 1866.  A descendant is Shane Stone, chief minister of the Northern Territories. 
Select Stone Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Stone Names

Benjamin Stone established the earliest known English sword factory, at Hounslow Heath just outside London, in the early 1600's.
The Rev. Edward Stone was an 18th century clergyman who discovered the active ingredient in aspirin.
Thomas Stone was a signer of the US Declaration of Independence as the representative for Maryland.
Izzy Stone, born Isador Feinstein in Philadelphia, was an iconoclastic American investigative journalist, best-known for his self-published newsletter I.F. Stone's Weekly.
Oliver Stone is a prominent American film director.
Sharon Stone is an American actress, best known for her role in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct.
Sly Stone is the lead singer of Sly and the Family Stone.

Select Stones Today
  • 52,000 in the UK (most numerous in London)
  • 55,000 in America (most numerous in California) 
  • 29,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

Click here for reader feedback
Click here for return to front page