Stained Glass in the on the north side of the nave “in memory of the family” in Whixley, Yorkshire, England.

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Styan is a Norse personal name, in earlier days spelled as Stigandr or Stigand. It has a  meaning something like “he who strides forth”. Readers of Tolkien’s book The Lord of the Rings will be reminded of a principal character in that work, Strider.

It seems, as is quite common in Scandinavian languages of today, the “g” and “d” were soft, so that the pronunciation may have been something like Stighant, with the second “t” eventually being lost. Although in some parts of the England one occasionally comes across the surname Styant.

In the 11th century Stigand appears to have been a popular baptismal name. The Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of the Norman Conquest was called Stigand. There is a portrait of him in the Bayeux Tapestry, and he occurs in the Domesday Book as on of the principal tenants-in-chief.

The majority of us however, are descended from more humble stock and the first confirmed occurrence of Styan in Whixley is in the year c1550, where Styans still live to this day.

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