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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The surname Strang 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 Strang, 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. Strang 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 Strang 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.


The surname Strang was 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. "The church [in Wellesbourn-Hastings in Warwickshire] is partly Norman, and partly in the early English style, with a tower of later character, and contains a monument to the memory of Sir Thomas le Strange, lord-lieutenant of Ireland in the reign of Henry VI." [1]

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Strang 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, 1682 and are included under the topic Early Strang History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Strang 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.


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

Strang Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Roger Strang settled in Nevis in 1660
  • Tho Strang, who arrived in Virginia in 1663
  • Mary Strang, who arrived in Virginia in 1665
  • Susan Strang, who landed in Virginia in 1665
  • Christian Strang, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685

Strang Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Caleb and Maria Strang settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774

Strang Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Strang, who landed in New York in 1801
  • James Strang, who arrived in America in 1830
  • William French Strang, who arrived in North Carolina in 1840
  • G B Strang, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Strang Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • James Morrison Strang, who landed in Wisconsin in 1910

Strang Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Strang, aged 44, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"
  • Matthew Strang, aged 28, a carpenter, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "William Stevenson"
  • William Strang, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1860 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"

Strang Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Strang landed in Wairarapa, New Zealand in 1840
  • Robert Rodger Strang landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant
  • Robert Rodger Strang arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • Susan Douglas Strang arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840


  • James Jesse Strang (1813-1856), American religious leader, politician, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
  • William Gilbert "Gil" Strang (1934-1955), American mathematician, Rhodes Scholar (1955)
  • David Strang (b. 1968), British gold medalist middle distance runner at the 1994 European Indoor Championships in Athletics
  • William John "Bill" Strang CBE Ph.D FREng FRAeS, FRS (1921-1999), British aerospace engineer
  • Blair Strang (b. 1972), New Zealand actor
  • William Strang (1859-1921), Scottish painter and engraver
  • Bryan Colin Strang (b. 1972), Zimbabwean cricketer
  • Gavin Steel Strang (b. 1943), British politician, former Minister of State for Transport
  • Paul Andrew Strang (b. 1970), Zimbabwean cricket coach and former international player
  • Doug Strang (1912-1954), Australian rules footballer



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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Strang Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Strang 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 29 February 2016 at 14:45.

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