Show ContentsHarmestrang History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

From the historical and enchanting region of Scotland emerged a multitude of noble families, including the distinguished Harmestrang family. The Harmestrang surname is thought to come from the Middle English words "strong" and "arm," and has also been rendered in Gaelic as MacGhillielaidir.

Early Origins of the Harmestrang family

The surname Harmestrang was first found in Cumberland. This well known Border surname is derived from the Norman surname "Fortenbras" and is an instance of a surname assumed from a personal attribute, strength of arm.

It is said that a Fairbairn, armour bearer to the King of Scotland, lifted the King back onto his horse with one arm, after the King had been unseated in battle. The King then granted him lands in Liddesdale and bestowed on him the name of Armstrong. Although this legend may be true in part, the Armstrongs were of greater nobility than armour bearers.

Perhaps the earliest recorded record is of Adam Armstrong, who was pardoned at Carlisle in 1235 for causing the death of another man. William Armestrangh served on an inquisition in the same city in 1274. [1] Some of the family were found in the burgh of Langholm, Dumfries in early times. "This place derives its name from the level lands, or holms, here, on the river Esk; and appears to have been indebted for its origin to the erection of an ancient border fortress by the powerful family of the Armstrongs, of which fortress the ruins are still in tolerable preservation." [2]

Early History of the Harmestrang family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harmestrang research. Another 260 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1328, 1342, 1363, 1376, 1529, 1587, 1610, 1602, 1658, 1662, 1633, 1684, 1683, 1672 and are included under the topic Early Harmestrang History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harmestrang Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Armstrong, Armstrang, Armestrang, Harmestrang and many more.

Early Notables of the Harmestrang family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was William Armstrong (c.1602-c.1658), known as Christie's Will, a Scottish Borders freebooter of the 17th century, celebrated in a ballad by Sir Walter Scott; Colonel Sir Thomas Armstrong (died 1662), a Scottish soldier who fought in the 30 Years War in the Netherlands, a Royalist soldier during the English Civil War, twice imprisoned in the Tower of London...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harmestrang Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harmestrang family to Ireland

Some of the Harmestrang family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harmestrang family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Avis Armstrong, who was on record in Connecticut in 1660; Edward Armstrong, who received a land patent in Maryland in 1666; Addam Armstrong, who came to Virginia in 1691.

The Harmestrang Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Invictus maneo
Motto Translation: I remain unvanquished.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook