This interesting and long-established surname derives from the Middle English "strong", Olde English pre 7th Century "strang", and "arm", and is an interesting example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to occupations, and to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes and peculiarities, in this case, strength of arm. The name may have denoted a great warrior, or one skilled in medieval contests, requiring great arm power such as archery and fencing.An earlier form of the name, Armstrong, is first recorded in Scotland with one Adam Armstrong, who was pardoned at Carlisle for causing the death of another man in 1235. The surname is well recorded in 16th Century Church Registers of Cheshire, entries including: the christening of Mergaret, daughter of Thomas Strongitharme, at Wilmslow, on January 4th 1568. William Strongitharm, of Swettemham, and George Strongitharm, of Allostock, were noted respectively in the Cheshire Wills Records in 1598 and 1617. A Coat of Arms granted to the Strongitharm family is a black shield with three dexter arms in armour embowed to the sinister, couped at the shoulder, the upper part in pale, the lower fessways, each holding in the gauntlet a sword erect all proper, garnished gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Strongharme, which was dated 1379, in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of Leicester", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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