This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from a nickname for someone with long legs, or whose gait had a purposeful air. The name is derived from the Middle English (1200-1500) "stride", (long) pace from "stride(n)", to walk with long steps, from the Old English pre 7th Century "stridan", to straddle. This is an example of that sizable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, habits of dress, and occupation. The modern surname can be found as Stride and Stryde. Among the recordings in London are the christening of William, son of William and Mary Stride, on August 23rd 1668 at St. Sepulchre, and the marriage of John Stride and Phillis Keith on November 20th 1777 at St. Olave's, Southwark. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Strid (marriage to Agnes), which was dated November 18th 1599, Howden, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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