Recorded in many forms including Strachan, Strachen, Straughan, the Irish Strain, and possibly Stroyan, Strowan and Struan, this is a Gaelic and almost certainly Scottish surname of great antiquity. It is probably locational from the lands of Strachan (pronounced "Strawn") in Kincardineshire, or in the case of the last three spellings, may originate from the Irish O' Struitheain, meaning 'The male descendant of (a man) called 'Stream', although there does not seem to be any positive proof of this origin. Strachan derives from the pre 7th century word "stath" meaning a valley, and "eachain", the diminutive of "each" meaning a horse, and hence, "horse valley". The surname from this source is first recorded at the commencement of the 13th Century (see below), appearing as Stratheuchin the registers of Aberbrotoc Abbey in 1203 andas Strahechen in Dunfermline in 1220. David Straughin was Procurator of the Scottish Nation at the University of Orleans, France, in 1520. John Strachan (1778 - 1867) of Aberdeen went to Canada in 1797 and became first bishop of Toronto in 1839 whilst John Stroyan (1860 - 1941) was the laird of Lanrick Castle, Doune. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Waldeuus de Stratheihan. This was dated 1200 a.d, when he granted the lands of Blarkerocch to the church of St. Andrew, during the reign of King William the Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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