Early Stiles Family History

An excerpt from The family of David Stiles… by Lewis Ogden Stiles (1939) provides an early history of the Stiles family: 

The name of Stiles or Styles is said to have been of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and to have been derived from the residence of the progenitor of the family bearing this name at or near a stile, the addition of the final “s” signifying “son of.” The name is found on ancient records in the various forms of de la Style, Atte or ate Style, Styhill, Styell, Stighele, Stiell, Stylles, Stylls, Styels, Styles, and Stiles, of which the last two are the forms most generally accepted today.

Families of this name were to be found at early dates in the counties of Bedford, Oxford, Suffolk, Kent, York, Berks, Essex, Northhampton, and London and were, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of Great Britain. Among the earliest records of the family in England are those of Richard de la Style of Bedfordshire in 1273, John and Robert Atte Stile of Oxfordshire about the same time, Roger ate Styhill of Yorkshire in 1379, and William Style of Suffolk County in the early fifteenth century.

Immigrant Stiles Family Lines in the U.S.

The Connecticut Stiles Family: The first members of the Stiles family in America were four Stiles brothers and their wives and children: Henry, John, Francis, and Thomas Stiles or Styler. They are said to have been the sons of one Thomas Stiles of Milbrooke, Bedfordshire, England, and to have emigrated to New England and first settled at Windsor, Connecticut in 1635.

 The Massachusetts Stiles Family: These are descendants of Robert Stiles who settled at Boxford, Massachusetts about 1639. He is said to have been married in 1660 to Elizabeth Frye at Boxford, but their children, John, Elizabeth, Abigail, Ebenezer, Sarah, Robert, Timothy, Eunice, and one other who died young, were born at Rowley, as was the youngest son, Samuel.

 The Bermuda (Philadelphia, Georgia, Virginia, Bermuda) Stiles Family. This family has never been compiled into one complete genealogy. There are about 20 different families who came from a common ancestor in Virginia before 1640.  These Stiles came from England to Bermuda at least a generation before the other families came to America, including John, who was, “in 1636, a first settler in Bermuda.”  There was another branch of this family which settled in Philadelphia about the same time that Robert of Philadelphia came directly from England. SFA has many early records of the Philadelphia area where we are unable to separate these two families with also a possibility that some descendants of this northern N.J. branch of the Connecticut Family may have also migrated to Philadelphia.   Benjamin and Daniel Stiles (brothers, about 1764), Joseph Stiles and Samuel Stiles arrived in Savannah, GA at various times in the 1700s.

The fourth family in size is the south New Jersey Stiles Family headed by a Robert Stiles who, with his sister Lucy, settled at Philadelphia before 1700.  Robert is said to have come from Staffordshire, England to Philadelphia about 1680 and to have moved at a later date to Gloucester, N.J. By his wife Priscilla Howell he is said to have had at least three children, Robert, John, and Martha, and possibly others as well.

Another large family is known as the Kingston, New York family and has been published in a genealogy by Jeanette Nichols.

Another family is headed by a William Stiles who settled at Dover, New Hampshire.

Another family is headed by a Robert Stiles of Dorchester, Massachusetts, who emigrated from England in the early seventeenth century. Some people have confused his records with those of Robert of Boxford for they both lived at the same time, and both had wives by the name of Elizabeth.