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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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

Strange Settlers in 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 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 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

Strange Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Pat Strange settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1806
  • Bridget Strange settled in Harbour Main, Newfoundland in 1809
  • James Maxwell Strange, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • John Strange was a fisherman of Port de Grave, Newfoundland in 1838
  • Joseph Strange settled in Lower Burgeo, Newfoundland in 1854

Strange Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Sida Strange arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Senator" in 1849
  • Priscella Strange arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Senator" in 1849
  • Henry Strange arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Senator" in 1849
  • Eliza Strange arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Senator" in 1849
  • Mary Strange arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Senator" in 1849

Strange Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Strange arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Emma Strange arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865


  • John "Johnny" Strange (1991-2015), American three-time world record holding adventurer; he died in a wingsuiting accident from the Montain Gitschen
  • Glenn Strange (1899-1973), American actor, probably best known as Sam Noonan, the bartender on CBS's Gunsmoke television series
  • Curtis Strange (b. 1955), American golfer, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, winner of 17 PGA Tour matches
  • William E. "Billy" Strange (b. 1930), American session musician
  • Alfred Henry Strange (1900-1978), English footballer
  • Steve Strange (1959-2015), born Steven John Harrington, a Welsh pop singer, best known as the lead singer and frontman of the 1980s pop group Visage
  • Jason Strange (b. 1973), Welsh rugby union player
  • Major-General Thomas Bland Strange (1831-1925), British soldier noted for his service with the Canadian militia during the North-West Rebellion of 1885
  • Sir Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1756-1841), Canadian Judge, sixth Chief Justice of Nova Scotia
  • Cy Strange (1915-1987), Canadian radio broadcaster


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. 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.
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  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 2 October 2015 at 13:52.

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