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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Strange family come from? What is the English Strange family crest and coat of arms? When did the Strange family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Strange family history?

The surname Strange is derived from a nickname in the Old French. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends that portrayed animals behaving as humans. The Old French nickname Strange, meant "stranger." Nicknames come from the category of surnames known as hereditary surnames. They were adopted from a variety of sources including, physical characteristics, behaviour, mannerisms, and other personal attributes. Strange would have been given to someone who was new in the village or parish. In the Middle Ages, the vast majority of people never traveled any more than thirty miles or so from the place of their birth. Travel and emigration was reserved for the nobility, by and large. The surname Strange was derived from the Old French word estrange, which meant foreign. This is a name associated with the Bretons, a culture from the peninsula of Brittany, in the northwest of France. Formerly known as Armorica, a possession of the Roman Empire, this land consists of a plateau with a deeply indented coast and is broken by hills in the west. However, the region was renamed Britannia Minor by the Romans, following the emigration of six thousand Britons across the English Channel, an event which took place at the behest of the Roman Commander in Britain.

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The Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, and therefore, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Strange, Strang and others.

First found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Pevell's Castle in the peak of Derbyshire. Guido le Strange, son of the Duke of Brittany was present at a joust with Owen, Prince of Wales and the Scottish Prince. Guido le Strange was ancestor of the various baronial houses of L'Strange and Strange.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Strange research. Another 303 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1160, 1255, 1296, 1267, 1324, 1305, 1349, 1320, 1349, 1332, 1361, 1353, 1375, 1611 and 1682 are included under the topic Early Strange History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Strange Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Strange family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Strange family to immigrate North America:

Strange Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • William Strange, who arrived in Virginia in 1619
  • Emma Strange settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1634
  • Ben Strange settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Ben Strange, aged 18, arrived in Bermuda in 1635
  • George Strange, who arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1635


Strange Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Danl Strange, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Thomas Strange, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Elizabeth Strange settled in Maryland in 1775

Strange Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Edwin B Strange, who arrived in New York in 1846
  • L V Strange, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Edward Strange, aged 34, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1874

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  • Curtis Strange (b. 1955), American golfer, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, winner of 17 PGA Tour matches
  • Glenn Strange (1899-1973), American actor, probably best known as Sam Noonan, the bartender on CBS's Gunsmoke television series
  • William E. "Billy" Strange (b. 1930), American session musician
  • Alfred Henry Strange (1900-1978), English footballer
  • Cy Strange (1915-1987), Canadian radio broadcaster
  • Sir Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1756-1841), Canadian Judge, sixth Chief Justice of Nova Scotia
  • Major-General Thomas Bland Strange (1831-1925), British soldier noted for his service with the Canadian militia during the North-West Rebellion of 1885
  • Steve Strange (b. 1959), born Steven John Harrington, a Welsh pop singer
  • Jason Strange (b. 1973), Welsh rugby union player


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Strange Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Strange Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 June 2013 at 08:21.

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