Recorded in various spellings as shown below, this is a confusing surname of great antiquity. It can probably be best described as of French origins from the time after the Norman Conquest of 1066, when for three centuries French was the language of England, and in effect this surname like the surname Newman, was a nickname for a comer-in to an area. The early recordings of the name are found in the county of Norfolk, and later in Yorkshire. It should not be assumed that these necessarily described Frenchmen, although this is likely. In the modern idiom spellings include Le Strange, L' Estrange, Strainge, Strange, Stranger (England), and in France Lestrange and Letrange. Early examples of recordings include John Lestrange in the tax rolls known as the Feet of Fines for the county of Norfolk in 1195, Ralph le Estrange, in the Curia Regis Rolls of Suffolk in 1199; Hugh le Strange in the Assize Court rolls of Salop (Shropshire) in 1221; and Fulco Strange, in the records of the Abbey of Ely, Cambridgeshire in the same year. Roger le Strange who died in 1311, filled various important judicial, military and administrative posts for King Edward 1st (1272 - 1307). A coat of arms associated with the name has the blazon of a red shield charged with two silver lions passant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lestrange. This was dated 1192, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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