Last name: Armstrong

After William 1 conquered England in 1066, he rewarded his followers with land grants. Amongst these followers were ones known as "Forten Bras" which literally translates as "strong in the arm", itself a rare surname, and from these people developed the Armstrangs or Armstrongs. The clan has always been centred in Liddesdale in Cumbria, where its fierce and warlike members were enlisted by the Scottish and English kings in turn. The terms "Moss Troopers" and "Border Reivers" were applied to the clan Armstrong, the history of the clan being the history of "The Border" and the wars between England and Scotland. As examples of their "strength", in 1342, Richard Harmestrang made a loan to King David 11 (1329 - 1371) of Scotland, whilst in 1363, William Armstrong was not only steward to the king, but ambassador to England. However, it is in the field of (literally) private enterprise that the Armstrongs made their mark, Armstrong of Gilnockie, a well known "free booter", being executed by James V of Scotland in 1529, whilst in 1596, Kinmont Willie (Armstrong), another "pirate" was seized by the Scots from Carlisle Castle, his subsequent fate is "unknown". Another unfortunate was Sir Thomas Armstrong (1624 - 1684), a well known monarchist, who fell foul of Judge Jeffreys and was executed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Armstrong, which was dated 1235, arrested and imprisoned for murder and later pardoned at Carlisle, during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1214 - 1249. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2014

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll
Share |

Rebecca Merritt
Have a male Armstrong do a DNA test from Ancestry.com. My brother did one for me and we go back to the Armstrongs to Scotland. I may not have a paper trail yet to these Armstrong, but the blood says they are family.

Bella
I am also researching the surname Armstrong in Clarendon, Jamaica.

T Armstrong
this completely adds up. my family am i are from Jamaica born and raised and some of my family moved to and from England

mimi armstrong
Really weird... I have the.last name Armstrong and I'm Indian & Italian ... any one know how this can happen?

Andrea
You must have ancestors from Britain to have that surname because it's not Indian or Italian

joseph armstrong
my name is joseph but my grate grands are 100% indian

Armstrong girl
marriage

Mark A
Adam Armstrong was the first recorded Armstrong from Cumbria(England)in 1235. They then spread to Scotland in the 14th century and on to Ireland. So where some of you get the idea it's a Scottish name from makes me think the MacDonald name to be English!The Armstrongs that moved north into Scotland and established the Armstrong Clan are Scottish.

Ulli
Armstrong is a Norman surname, not Scottish.

Michelle
Does anyone know from which the Armstrong Family of Fairborn, Ohio, USA comes from? There are numerous Armstrong Families throughout history and unfortunately, my husband has not a clue of his true lineage. Just thought I'd throw it out there and by chance, someone may have a link. God Bless!

kathi
I have a great grand father that was born in ohio his name is george david armstrong his wifes name was emma as far as I know they had 2 children edwin and roy . Roy is my grand father he lived in gentry ark. Kenneth armstrong is my father .just wondering if those names sound familiar to you.

Destiny
I also have family in ohio with the last name armstong

Destiny
I have never met them but I have names. I find it weird that there are so many that are from Ohio.

Lizabeth Souness
My family has Armstrongs in Northern Ireland. Does anyone know any history about the Armstrongs there? I would be interested if any one could help.

Kolie
Hello, my partner is an Armstrong from northern ireland. Maybe he could help?

Greg
Probably depends if relatives Catholic or Protestant, if Catholic Armstrong can rarely be an Anglicization of two Gaelic names from Ulster. If Protestant well the majority of Protestants are settlers from England and Scotland, so settlers with the Scottish borders name Armstrong. There are about 10x more Armstrongs in England than Scotland.

Aoife
Hiya I'm an Armstrong and funnily enough I'm from Northern Ireland...I've got relatives from all over the show :)

Mark
My mother's maiden name is Armstrong and I have a lot of Armstrong cousins, all in County Tyrone.

Stuart
The 1891 census records 3,022 Armstrong families in Scotland and 20,849 Armstrong families in England, the majority of them either side of the English/Scottish border. Border families can be English and they can be Scottish and they can be both. National borders are man made.

Walker
When I was a kid we had a neighbour who's name was Strong o' the arm!

Michael
The first Armstrong was the Earl of Northumbria, and was in fact Danish. So, the Armstrongs are of Norse origin... Liddlesdale was in fact debatable land, and belong to neither England nor Scotland. So it is safe to say their origin is Anglo/Danish.

Armstrong
Actually the first Armstrong was Scottish. He received the name "Armstrong" from the King after saving him in battle. The King's horse had been killed from under him and an enemy soldier almost delivered a fatal blow when Armstrong came and grabbed the King (using just one arm) and flung him onto the back of his own horse, saving his life. The King then referred to the man as "Armstrong." Here's one of many links proving my point: http://www.scotclans.com/scottish_clans/clans/armstrong/history.html

p armstrong
thank god for that! somebody who knows what they are talking about

D.
Yes. Actually, Rome tossed the European Celts around quite a bit. (At least the ones that survived the genocide.) You'll find peoples from Wales, Scotland, The Netherlands, Palatinate of the Rhein, Switzerland, Bavaria, Southern France, and the Basque regions closely related both genetically and culturally. (The Irish celts were cut off by an ice sheet in the way back but the Scottish were often back and forth to the Island since.) Many American immigrants from the Ulster regions were Welsh and Scottish. Many of the American immigrants from the Palatinates were French, Welsh and Scottish and many spoke German. Many of those from Wales and Scotland were originally from France. Go back far enough and most all of the above were La Tene. P.S. The Reivers generally were mercenary out of necessity and had both "British" (whatever than means) and "Scottish" (ditto) clans and bloodlines but they usually call Armstrong Scottish.

Stu
Also, if what the above says is true and they were William the Bastards followers, does that mean we're all a bit French and Swedish?

Stu
The Armstrongs also kept it away from the Scottish a lot of the time (P.S. Scotland is in Britain). Saying it's a Scottish or an English only surname is stupid. It's a bit both and a bit neither as they went to war with everyone. It's why I'm proud to be one, and English to boot. :)

Nancy
Awh my relatives still like to fight judging from this board. lol We are Scottish and duly proud that we kept the border lands away from the British. Anyone attending the reunion in Scotland this September?

Bernie
What reunion is this then ?

Laura
We are also armstrong, hubby is 2nd generation here and the rest are all still living in limerick, Ireland. I was able to trace his family back to the 1600's in Ireland.

Jacques Armstrong
I am 8 years old and I am Armstrong . You can email my dad Bill@liquipusa.com