Recorded in several forms including Strachan (Scotland), Strahan, Straughan (England), Strain and Straine (Northern Ireland), this is a surname of Scottish origins. It is generally pronounced "Strawn", a form which has lead to the development of the alternative spellings. The original name derives from the lands of Strachan in the former county of Kincardinshire, but it would seem that the name was quite early into England as amongst the recordings in the early surviving church registers are those of Richard Streyn who married Margaret Conye at Northwood in Hampshire on July 29th 1555, whilst in on April 23rd 1846, Mary Strain, given as being a spinster aged thirty seven, was a passenger on the ship "Brothers of Newry". This ship left that Irish port for the city of New York, and Mary Strain was one of the first emigrants to flee the infamous Potato Famine of that year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Waldeuus de Stratheihan in the year 1199, when he was a charter witness for a grant of lands to the abbey of St Andrews. This was during the reign of King William, The Lyon, of Scotland 1165-1214 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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