There are several theories of how the name Stillman originated - the creator/cureator of these pages has researched the subject and has formed the following thesis based on fact and example.

Most Recent Stylleman Name Thesis

The thesis originally written in Flemish - translated into English in late 2000 - the language of Flanders, Belgium - proposes that Stellamans and all derivatives thereof are evolved from the notation for "son of" noted as 's[name]. Thus, 'sTieleman becomes "son of Tieleman" - which when written together without the apostrophe becomes Stieleman and all derivatives follow. This follows the convention of "ap" in Wales, "mc" in Ireland, "mac" in Scotland - examples are ap Decar = Apdecar, mc Tavish = McTavish, mac Donald = MacDonald. 'sTileman, 'sTylleman, 'sTyleman all seem to follow that convention. The name has long had roots in the northern European continent and many Thieleman and Tieleman names are present there today. Raymond Tylleman of France has shared a recent Tylleman genealogy - which clearly shows that the Tylleman name dates into the earlier 1800's. Styleman, Stillman, Stylman, Stileman are in significant numbers as well. This is perceived to be a very credible thesis with much research to follow.

Other Name Theses

The word stille/stylle/still/stile/stil - all pronounced as steel - in most ancient and modern germanic as well as latin translates as silent, quiet, calm.
There is a theory that the name originates from the word stagoll pronounced similar to stay-ole - which relates to a steep incline - such as a cliff - thus a person who dwells by a stagoll would have that as a last name. The spelling depended greatly upon the literacy of the person recording the name as to how it was spelled.

From ancient or Old Saxony - known as Vikingland - through the times of the Roman occupation of the British Isles through the 17th century there was a prevailing custom related to title inheritance which is presented as the following by example:

A titled/entitled family - having an estate - with the last name of Stille - or Stylle/Still/Stil - had no sons, only an eldest daughter to inherit the family titles/entitlements. An example of this occurred when Ella Olafsdatter Stille - grandaughter of Pers, daughter and eldest child of Olaf - born in Sweden in 1634 - who immigrated to the American colonies with Hans Miansson whom Ella married in 1654. Ella was first married to Peter Jochimson - having two children by the last name of Yocum, a pneumonic contraction of Jochimson. Then Ella married Hans Miansson and their children were named [1st name] Hanson with last name of Stille-Mian - shortened to Steelman - the pneumonic of Stille-Mian - Ella's last name plus her husbands - instead of either Miansson or Hanson, as would be expected. This was because Ella - as the eldest child - was the inheritor of Olaf's estate/entitlements - and her children were named Stille-Mian or Steelman to assure that inheritance. In England their children's last name would very likely have been spelled either Stilleman, Stylleman, Styleman, or Stileman.

A similar custom continues in England - with modification - to this day. In the case of Mr. George Stileman - to marry Jane Pickering, daughter of Sir Gilbert Pickering, 1st Baronet of Nova Scotia, George Stileman assumed the last name Pickering to become known as George Stileman Pickering - with the intent of dropping the name Stileman and becoming George Pickering so that their future offspring could inherit at least Jane's part the Pickering estate.

Another example was the marriage of Nicolas Styleman III (died Jan 1746) to Armine Le Strange (died Jun 1768), daughter of Sir Nicholas Le Strange 4th Baronet of Hunstanton.
Nicholas and Armine had a son - Reverend Armine Styleman - who married Ann Blakeway, daughter of Royal Navy Captain James Blakeway.
Born to Armine and Ann was a son Henry Styleman who married Emelia Preedy, daughter of Benjamin Preedy of St. Albans. They had a son Henry Styleman - who assumed the name of Henry L'Estrange Styleman Le Strange.
Henry L'Estrange Styleman Le Strange married Jamesine Joyce Ellen Stewart daughter of John Stewart of Belladrum, Scotland.
Henry and Jamesine had a son Hamon Styleman Le Strange, Justice of the Peace who married Emmeline Austin. Hamon dropped the Styleman name to become Hamon Le Strange.
Hamon and Elleline had a son Roland le Strange Styleman le Strange who then married the Honorable Agnita Frances De Laval - daughter of Baron Hastings.
Roland Le Strange and Agnita had a son Charles Alfred Le Strange, Esquire. The Styleman name had then long disappeared due to inheritances.

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