This interesting and long-established surname belongs to 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 a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and mental and moral characteristics. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "strang" (Middle English "strong"), strong, bold, with "mann", man, and was used to denote a physically powerful man, or perhaps one steadfast and resolute in will or purpose. "Strongman" (without surname), recorded in Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds', Suffolk, suggests that "strong" and "man" were combined to form a byname. In 1389, one John Strongman was rector of Brunstead, Norfolk, and on October 30th 1547, William Strongman and Agnes Person were married at St. Michael Cornhill, London. The christening of Joan, daughter of Richard Strongman, took place at All Saints and St. John, Hertford, Hertfordshire, on November 1st 1560. In the modern idiom the surname has two variant spellings, Strongman and Strangman, the latter being more widespread in the north. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is described thus: "Sable, on a fess engrailed between three arms couped at the shoulders in armour argent, as many crosses crosslet fitchee gules". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Strangman, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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