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


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 surname Strange 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.


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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, 1682 and 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 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

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  • John "Johnny" Strange (1991-2015), American three-time world record holding adventurer; he died in a wingsuiting accident from the Montain Gitschen
  • John B. Strange (b. 1880), American Democrat politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Eaton County, 1933-34; Defeated, 1906, 1918, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1934
  • John Strange, American Republican politician, Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, 1909-11
  • James Magruder Strange (b. 1818), American politician, Delegate to Virginia secession convention, 1861
  • James F. Strange, American politician, Mayor of Annapolis, Maryland, 1909-19
  • James B. Strange, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1912
  • H. B. Strange, American politician, Secretary of State of Georgia, 1918-19
  • Daniel Strange, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 3rd District, 1892
  • Nathaniel S. Strange, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1856
  • Robert Strange (1796-1854), American Democrat politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Fayetteville, 1821-23, 1826; Superior Court Judge in North Carolina, 1827-36; U.S. Senator from North Carolina, 1836-40

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

Other References

  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  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 29 February 2016 at 14:45.

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