Stanley is a toponymic surname dating from the 11/12th century contraction of Stan (a form of "Stone") and Leigh (meadow), later also being used as a masculine given name. In the 1990 mini-series, his appearance is the same as the novel. Last name: Stanley. The most Stanley families were found in the USA in 1880. In the film adaption, he has curly light brown hair and still has the fastidious mannerisms the original Stanley Uris has. Ralph Edmund Stanley (1927-2016), nicknamed Dr. Ralph Stanley, an American bluegrass artist, co-founder of the Stanley Brothers Ted Stanley (1932-2016), American philanthropist and businessman, founder of the Danbury Mint which has marketed high quality medals and ingots in 1969 This interesting surname is one of the oldest and noblest of all English surnames, with the Stanley family who hold the earldom of Derby tracing their descent from a companion of Wilham the Conqueror, Adam de Aldithley. In the novel, Stanley is described as fastidious, wears formal clothes and has black hair. A branch of the family taking the name Stanley when Adam's grandson married the heiress to the manor of Stanley in Staffordshire. New York had the highest population of Stanley families in 1840. SDB Popularity ranking: 72. This was about 11% of all the recorded Stanley's in the USA. In 1840 there were 94 Stanley families living in New York. The Stanley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920.