Recorded in various spellings including Lang, Lange, Langer, Langer, Langhor, Lung, Lunge, and possibly others, this is a surname of early Scandanavian, Anglo-Saxon (Germanic), and Irish origins. It has a number of possible and quite distinct sources, each with its own meaning and derivation. In the Scandanavian and Anglo-Saxon it probably originated as a descriptive nickname for a tall person. If so the derivation is from the pre 7th century word "lang", meaning long or tall, or it may have been a residential name for a person who lived at a "langa". This was a long area of ground cultivated for agriculture. As an Irish surname it originated from the Gaelic surname O'Longain. This was composed of the elements O', meaning male descendant of, plus "Longain", a personal name which probably derived from "long", but meaning a ship, and so was perhaps a byname for a sailor. Early examples of the recordings include: Leofwine Lange, who was noted in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of England in the year 1070, and Bernard Long, who appeared in the Feudal Documents for the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk in 1121. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Henry Long, aged 21 yrs., who departed from the port of London aboard the "Hopewell", bound for the Barbados, in February 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aetheric thes Langa, of Northamptonshire, and dated 972 a.d. during the reign of King Edgar of England, 959 - 975. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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