Strickland (surname)

Strickland (surname)
Strickland Coat of Arms

The English surname Strickland is derived from the Norse word Stercaland, which is found in Westmorland to the south of Penrith. It did not become a family name until after 1179, when Walter de Castlecarrock married Christian de Leteham, an heiress to the local estate that now includes the villages of Great Strickland and Little Strickland. Following the marriage Walter changed his name to de Strikeland,[1] [2] which is the French spelling of the name.

The family coat of arms is a black shield with three escalopes (sea shells).

Battle of Agincourt



The De Castlecarrock family was descended from the Norman de Vallibus or de Vaux family which came originally from Falaise in Normandy. Hubert de Vaux became the first Norman Lord of Gilsand in Cumberland (now known as Cumbria) which is the area around Brampton and Castle Carrock. He had a son, Eustace had married one of the two sisters who were co-heiresses of Robert son of Bueth, who was the last direct male descendant of a native chieftain, Gilles son of Bueth, Robert was the original owner of Gilsland (Gilles-land) around the time of Henry I.

Sir William De Strickland (1242–1305) married Elizabeth d'Eyncourt who was descended maternally from the Clan Dunbar, cadets of the Scottish kings, and from the Uchtred, Earldorman of Northumberland and his third wife Aelfgifu, daughter of King Aethelred the Unready. It was from this marriage that Sizeragh Castle became the family home.

The family name of Strickland first came to notice at the Battle of Agincourt (25 October 1415) when Thomas Strickland Esquire carried the Flag of St. George, dismounted as he was a knight in training. He had brought with him men-at-arms from his estate at Great Strickland in Westmorland and other troops from Kendal (The Kendal Bowman).

The family fought against the Scots during their incursions into the English Marches, and Sir Walter Strickland also fought for the House of York during the Wars of the Roses. The family was a major landowner in Westmorland and Lancashire, and the name appears linked to local landmarks (Strickland Wood, Warton near Carnforth for example).

The family at Sizergh remained Catholic during the reformation. As the family grew various branches appeared, one of which married into the Constable family of Yorkshire, another branch settled early on in Hertfordshire. With immigration to the colonies and the growth of the British Empire, the name of Strickland has spread world wide.

The Kendal Parish Church (Holy Trinity) has a Strickland family chapel[3] and both Kendal and Penrith have main roads called Stricklandgate (The reference to gate is old English which means road).

A settlement first appeared on the west side of present day Kendal not long after the 1066 Norman Invasion when a Motte and Bailey fortification was built, this became known as Kirkbie Strickland (Kirkbie meaning church).

Although there are different spellings varying from De Strikeland, De Strickland to Strickland. The family name Stickland is not connected being Saxon and originating from Dorset[4]

Queen Katherine

Katherine Parr who married King Henry VIII was descended from the Strickland family via her ancestors Catherine de Strickland and Elizabeth Ros.[5]

Strickland myths

The historian Agnes Strickland published an inaccurate account of how the family name came about, she stated that a Knight who was with William the Conquerors invasion fleet was first ashore and struck his sword into the beach and therefore became known as De Strikeland

United States of America

In the United States a DNA project[6] has been established to determine Strickland descendancy from Matthew Strickland, an early inhabitant of 17th century Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

The Washingtons of Virginia

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was a direct descendant of the Stricklands. When Joan De Strickland (1272–1352) married Robert De Wessington, her estate included the parish of Natland and combined with that of Warton.

List of persons with the surname Strickland

See also

  • Sizergh Castle, the historic home of the Strickland family in England
  • Strickland, for other uses of the term
  • USS Strickland was an Edsall-class destroyer escort built for the U.S. Navy during World War II.
  • Great Strickland, village in Westmorland where the family name is derived from.


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