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 STRANGE - A STUDY OF THE SURNAME

I am recording here all events concerning those who had the family name of STRANGE, STRAINGE and other associated spellings to form the basis of a freely available one-name study for individual use only.   The records are recorded on the basis of place or type of event rather than personal names or date of events to make recording easy to follow and validate. Researchers can search for particular instances of interest using the site search tool on the home page.  

I have included the source of information and a link try to say who provided it to me whenever this is available to me and strongly encourage all researchers to quote sources at all times..

I shall establish place identities as information is made available to me and you will see that the breakdown is essentially by county and then by parish. Where the information for a parish becomes considerable I shall progressively open dedicated pages for those parishes.

If you have an interest in the name please contact myself, Mike Strange, using my feedback form
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What are the origins of the name of STRANGE?

I have been asked this question on numerous occasions but there is no single answer as there are several known origins and probably several yet to be discovered. Hence, the following is but scratching the surface:

1.      From the French connection back in the time when William 1st granted lands to some of his pals and thus began the noble line of Le Strange to whom a few can properly demonstrate lineage.

2.      From mutations of other names such as STRAUNGE, STRANG and some also claim  from STRONG although I have yet to see proof positive of this.  However, a DNA project may well expose some answers.

3.      The most prolific origins are far less inspiring I am afraid; simply if  someone new turned up in a village and he didn't carry a name he may be called "the  stranger" and a new thread was born - I am talking about mediaeval times and earlier here.  In England the most significant areas for this are found in the south, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Kent.  It is impossible to say how many people started this trend but they soon became mobile with the advent of the railways until by 1901 (from a partial census of England and Wales) there was quite broad coverage with some 1492 males and 1706 females, a total of 3198 along with 40 STRAINGE, nil STRAUNGE and 205 STRANG.

One of the most stated connections that bears no certain proof is between Alexander Strange1663-1670, who went from Bideford, Devon to New Kent, Virginia, USA, and a father John Strange.  The late John Mayer (http://www.arapacana.com/) was not certain about it and doubted if proof would ever be possible.   John said, " we have no idea who John Strange might have been.  Some think he was a ship owner from Bideford, Devon, but there were several other John Stranges in London during the same period."  It would seem that many who claim paternity are convinced that it the parents are John Strange 1631-1685 and Phebe Mitchell 1635 - 1710 as his provides a well proven line back through the Le Strange lordships and baronetcies.  John Mayer also said, "the senior English lines were fairly small, and that the earliest families Extranei of England met with complete extinction at very early dates (1360s, 1592, 1780s).  Heirs male to the heritages de le Strange became so rarefied in England, that their Styleman descendants had to resurrect the surname le Strange by Royal License in the 1830s. ......We need to view our lineages from several perspectives, sometimes resorting to collateral relations, co-residence, and titles, instead of strictly blood-related and descending patrilines."

Until someone comes up with irrefutable proof of this connection then it would be wise for those claimants to temper their enthusiasm and not replicate it yet again. The only possible technique for establishing proof is probably via DNA testing as the Wiltshire record office is seemingly unable to establish record of proof.

John Mayer saw the nub of the research difficulty, "Our Double Problem: Thus, we are faced with a double problem.  Exactly who arrived in Virginia?  Exactly who were the Stranges of Devon?"  There is much conjecture which becomes distorted to purport to be fact with little to substantiate it."

Glossary Items

Marrying by Licence: Marriage Bonds and Allegations - LINK