Armstrong (surname)

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Region of originScotland,Ireland
MeaningSon of a strong man

Armstrong is a surname of Scottish borders origin. It derives from a Middle English nickname which meant someone with strong arms. In Ireland the name was adopted as an Anglicization of two Gaelic names from Ulster: Mac Thréinfhir (meaning "son of the strong man") and Ó Labhraidh Tréan (meaning "strong O'Lavery").[1] Clan Armstrong is a clan from the border area between England and Scotland.[2] The Scottish Armstrong is reputed to have been originally bestowed by "an antient (sic) king of Scotland" upon "Fairbairn, his armour-bearer" following an act of strength in battle.[3] In the UK this surname is well represented in North East England, Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Scottish Borders, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, and Northern Ireland, and in the US it is well represented in the Deep south, and other southern states.

From the name Ó Labhraidh Tréan (meaning "strong O'Lavery" and sometimes written in AngloIrish as "Tréanlámagh") the following surnames survive: "Trainor", Traynor", O'Lavery", "McLavery", and "MacLavery". Although the name "Armstrong" is quite common in the Aghagallon and Glenavy area of County Antrim in Northern Ireland, the other names are to be found within the 9 Ulster Counties and Scotland, especially along the west coast.

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Disambiguation of common names with this surname[edit]

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  1. ^ "Dictionary of American Family Names". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ Dobson, David (2003), The Scottish Surnames of Colonial America (Google Book), Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, pp. 4&ndash, 5, ISBN 0-8063-5209-4, OCLC 52732092, retrieved 1 Jan 2012
    Additional OCLC records exist for same book.
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Antony (1844), "Historical Surnames", Essays on family nomenclature, historical, etymological and humorous: with chapters of rebuses and canting arms, the roll of Battel abbey, a list of latinized surnames, &c., &c. (Google Book), Essays on English Surnames (2nd ed.), London: John Russell Smith, p. 212, OCLC 674415725, retrieved 1 Jan 2012