This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Irish origin, and has two possible sources, each with its own meaning and derivation. In the Anglo-Saxon case it originated as a descriptive nickname for a tall person, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lang", "long" meaning long or tall. As an Irish surname, it originated as an Anglicization of the Gaelic "O'Longain", composed of the elements "O", male descendant of, plus "Longain" a personal name probably derived from "long", tall (as above), or possibly from the homonymous "long", a ship (and so originally a byname for a seafarer). The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 10th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Leofwine Lange, who was noted in the 1070 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Berard Long, who appeared in the Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (1121 - 1148). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Lang, Lange, Long and Lung. 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, which was dated 972, in "Old English Bynames", Northamptonshire, during the reign of King Edgar of England, 959 - 975. 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.
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