This is a locational surname which originally derives from one of the two twin towns called Old and New Strelitz in Germany, or (less likely) Strelitz in Austria. The twin towns are in the former province of Mecklenberg, East Prussia, an area of considerable conflict between German and Polish interests for centuries. The surname is well recorded from the 18th century, and it is probable that much earlier records of the name have either been destroyed or remain to be discovered in the former East Germany.The name is believed to derive originally from the ancient Norse 'strehla' meaning 'river', a word which pre-dates written history. Other forms of the surname include Strelitzer, which describes one who lives at Strelitz, as against Strelitz itself which describes one who has left the place, and Strelitzki, the Polish form, implying one who owns land or property at Strelitz. The Coat of Arms is very striking being a red shield charged with a crusader sword palewise between two gold crescents, suggesting victory over the infidel. Examples of the surname recordings include Carl Strelitz christened at Bromberd Stadt, Posen, on December 12th 1822, and Lucia Dorothea Strelitz who married Johann Senckpiehl at Briesen Kulm, West Preussen, on April 15th 1864. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Petrus Strelich, which was dated June 28th 1791, married at Freibourg, Baden, Germany, during the reign of Emperor Leopold 11, of the German Empire, 1790 - 1792. 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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