This is an ancient Scottish surname, of almost certainly pre 7th century Gaelic origins. There have been claims that because some early nameholders were recorded as 'de Strathearn' that the origin is Norman-French. If so, it remains unproven, although it is certainly true that in the two hundred years after the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, the Kingdom of Scotland for reasons of both self interest and protection, did adopt many French customs. It is also true that they went further and granted lands to members of William the Conqueror's successful army, presumably as some sort of pay-off.However in our opinion although the original nameholders may be Norman, 'Strathearn' as a surname is Gaelic-locational, and based upon research into Olde English and Gaelic languages, the derivation is from the elements 'straet', meaning in this context an area, and 'earn', the eagle - the place of the eagle. Whether 'the eagle' refers to a bird, or whether it describes a person with the attributes of an eagle, is open to conjecture. The early recordings give such examples as Patrick de Strathern, a charter witness in the barony of Drumelzier in 1331, whilst Walter Stratherne was an associate of the earl of Murref in 1390. Later recordings are those of Thomas Strathern, heir to the lands of Tulibaglis in 1462, and Mungo Strathern, a court witness in 1538. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maucolum de Strathearn, which was dated 1296, paid hommage to the Scottish government, during the reign of known as 'The Interregnum', which reigned from 1296 to 1306. 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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