This most interesting surname is of Old French origin, and originated as a nickname for a newcomer or foreigner to an area, from the Old French "estrange", foreigner, stranger (Middle English "strange"). All the early recordings of the name are found in Norfolk, having been introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the modern idiom, variants of the surname include Strainge, Lestrange and Stranger in England, while in France it can be found as Lestrange and Letrange. The surname first appears in English records in the late 12th Century (see below), and one John Lestrange is recorded in the Feet of Fines of Norfolk in 1195. Other early examples of the surname include Ralph le Estrange, mentioned in the 1199 Curia Rolls of Suffolk; Hugh le Strange listed in the Assize Court Rolls of Salop in 1221; and Fulco Strange, mentioned in 1221 in Records of the Abbey of Ely in Cambridgeshire. Roger le Strange (deceased 1311) filled various important judicial, military and administrative posts for Edward 1. Alexander Strange (1818 - 1876) joined the Madras Light Cavalry in 1834 and did much work on the trigonometrical survey of India. A Coat of Arms was granted to Baron Strange of Ellesmere (circa 1295) which depicts two silver lions passant on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lestrange, which was dated 1192, in the "Pipe Rolls of the County of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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