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.
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." 
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 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.
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
Strange Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Strange Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Strange Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Strange Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Strange Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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 23 May 2016 at 18:41.