Recorded in many spellings including: Strase, Strass, Strasse, Strate, Strasseman, Straetmann, Stratemann, Stratthoff, Stratiff, Stratz, and many others, this is a surname of Roman and Germanic origins. With often overlapping spellings which blur the origin, it is seemingly recorded across Eastern Europe in many different forms. It derives either from the ancient Roman (Latin) word "straet" meaning a main road, and hence somebody who lived by such a place, or from a German pre-medieval word "stratz" meaning vain. As such it was originally given to somebody who was believed by his associates to be vain and pompous, or possibly given the robust humour of the period, the total reverse! Sometimes a patronymic suffix appears to have been added, suggesting that in those cases the nickname was the origin, although this is not proven. Unfortunately the surviving records of births, deaths and marriages for much of the former Eastern Bloc are either non existent, or in a Cyrillic alphabet, or where they do survive in a Romanish spelling, have not yet been re-recorded in a manner allowing reasonable access for research. As such we have had no choice but to use the German church records dating back to the 15th century or earlier, although these do not cover all spellings. Early examples include Bernhard Stratz of Kurnbach, in the year 1530, and Heinrich Strate of Bantrupp, Lippe, on September 5th 1684. Other surviving recordings are those of Johan Strass who married Maria Retzloben at Enkirch, Rheinland, on November 1st 1685, Peter Stratthof at Bielfeld, Westfalen, on June 27th 1749, and Johannis Straetman of Ginderich, Rheinland, on July 7th also 1749.
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