L'estrange History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname L'estrange 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 L'estrange, meant "stranger." It would have been given to someone who was new in the village or parish. 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.
Early Origins of the L'estrange family
The surname L'estrange was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Knockyn (Knockin.) "The parish derives its name from a castle founded here by the family of L'Estrange, who possessed the manor in the reigns of Henry II. and Henry III., the latter of whom directed a precept to the sheriff of the county, commanding the aid thereof, to enable John L'Estrange to erect part of the 'Castle of Cnukyn,' and to repair the rest for the defence of the borders. His son received from the same monarch the grant of a weekly market, and a fair on the eve and morrow of the festival of St. John the Baptist. Madoc, a Welsh nobleman, headed an insurrection, and defeated Lord Strange at Cnukyn."  Another source claims Guy Le Strange had the castle built between 1154 and 1160 and it is not known when the castle was abandoned. Little is left of Knockin Castle today other than mounds of the original fortification. In 1540, Leland described it as 'a ruinous thing.' The family are descended from the Dukes of Brittany and it is recorded that during a great tournament at Castle Peverel in Derbyshire about 1120 attended by Owen, Prince of Wales, and a son of the King of Scots, and two sons of the Duke of Brittany, one of whom was Guy L'Estrange. It is from Guy, that the several branches of the family L'Estrange descended. Sixth in descent from Guy was John L'Estrange, Baron L'Estrange. He gave to his brother about 1320, Hamon L'Estrange, the manor of Hunstanton in Norfolk, a manor which he had held since about the year 1210.
Early History of the L'estrange family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our L'estrange research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1506, 1532, 1616, 1704, 1605, 1660, 1559, 1604, 1655, 1631, 1656, 1632, 1669, 1661, 1724, 1689 and 1751 are included under the topic Early L'estrange History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
L'estrange Spelling Variations
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 L'Estrange, Lestrange, Estrange, L'Estrang, Estrang and many more.
Early Notables of the L'estrange family (pre 1700)
Notable of this family during the Middle Ages was Guy L'Estrange, son of the Duke of Brittany; and Sir Roger L'Estrange (1616-1704), an English pamphleteer and author, strong defender of royalist claims; Hamon L'Estrange (1605-1660), an English writer on history, theology and liturgy, of Calvinist views from Sedgeford, Norfolk; Richard...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early L'estrange Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the L'estrange family to Ireland
Some of the L'estrange family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
L'estrange migration to the United States +
Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the L'estrange family to immigrate North America:
L'estrange Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Thomas Lestrange, who sailed to Maryland in 1726
L'estrange Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Christian Lestrange, who settled in Philadelphia in 1836
- Elizabeth Lestrange, aged 45, who landed in New York in 1854 
- Patrick Lestrange, aged 13, who arrived in New York in 1854 
- Patrick Lestrange, who settled in Philadelphia in 1860
- Patrick Lestrange, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1892
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
L'estrange Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Katherine Lestrange, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Mullinger, Ireland, in 1909
- Constance Collier Lestrange, aged 30, who landed in America from London, England, in 1913
- Frank Lestrange, aged 33, who immigrated to America, in 1924
- Joseph Leonard Lestrange, aged 33, who landed in America, in 1924
- Leslie Lestrange, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1924
Contemporary Notables of the name L'estrange (post 1700) +
- Toby L'Estrange (b. 1988), American rugby union player for the United States national team
- Sir Roger L'Estrange (d. 1762), 7th Baronet of Hunstanton, Norfolk
- Sir Henry L'Estrange (d. 1760), 6th Baronet of Hunstanton, Norfolk
- Matthew Gerrard "Gerry" L'Estrange (1917-1996), Irish Fine Gael politician, Minister of State at the Department of Defence (1981)
- Henri L'Estrange (b. 1842), known as the Australian Blondin, an Australian tightrope walker and aeronautical balloonist
- Augustin de Lestrange (1754-1827), French Trappist abbot
- Gisèle Lestrange (1927-1991), French graphic artist who illustrated the works of a number of well-known poets of her time
- Heath L'Estrange (b. 1985), Australian professional rugby league footballer
- Laurence Percy Farrer L'Estrange, British member of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service with various posts in Latin America
Related Stories +
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)