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Surname Strathern - Meaning and Origin

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Strathern: What does the surname Strathern mean?

The surname Strathern has Scottish origins and is linked to the geographic region called Strathearn in the central part of Scotland. In Gaelic, the name "Strathearn" signifies 'the valley of the River Earn'. Hence, the surname can be interpreted as 'one who comes from the valley of the River Earn'. The River Earn is a prominent river that flows through this region to the Firth of Tay. Historically, Strathearn has been an important earldom in Scotland, and the people with the Strathern surname might have ancestral or territorial ties to that region. Like many surnames based on geographic locations, Strathern may have been used to identify individuals who hailed from that specific region. Strathern as a last name also serves as a reminder of Scotland's rich history and cultural landscape.

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Strathern: Where does the name Strathern come from?

The surname Strathern is most commonly found in British Commonwealth countries such as England, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It originated in Scotland as a territorial name, derived from the place-name Stranraer in the Galloway region.

In England, Strathern is mainly found around the Lincolnshire area, although variants such as Stratherne, Stradern, and Stratherne can be found in various counties. In Scotland, the concentrated area of the clan is Aberdeenshire where the clan's founder, Alexander of Strathern, settled in the 12th century.

In recent years, the marked spread of the Strathern name in England is possibly down to the diaspora of Scots settling in England during and after the industrial revolution. Similarly, in Canada the Strathern name appears in records from Scottish migrants who settled in Nova Scotia in the 18th and 19th centuries as well as immigrants from Ireland, England and Scotland.

In New Zealand, Strathern is mainly found in the South Island, around the Canterbury and Otago districts, and the North Island's Waikato district. The census of 2006 reported Strathern to be the 502nd most common surname in New Zealand, the 961st in Australia, and the 1330th in Canada.

Today, the Strathern name is most visible in the world of politics, with the former Majority Leader of the House of Lords, the Right Honourable Baroness Strathern of Mariners Hill, as one notable example.

Variations of the surname Strathern

The surname Strathern is derived from an old area of Scotland known as Strathorn, which is derived from Gaelic words that mean "valley of thorns". There are many variant spellings for this name including Stratherne, Strutherne, Streathern, Stratharn, Stratherne, and Strutharn. Additionally, some people may use variants such as "Straitharn" or "Straitarn".

Surnames of similar origin include Strathaw, Stronach,raith, Streth, Strath, Stratherrick, Straton, Strutt, Strathern of Posso, Stratan, Stratten, Stratherne, and Strathearn.

Although the name does not appear to be from any one particular family, some families with the surname Strathern believe they are descended from Irish and Scottish royal lines, including the Earls of Strathern, one of whom was the first Earl of Strathern in 1320.

Another variation on the name is "stralarn" which appears to be a combination of "stra-" meaning "valley" and "arn" meaning "of the thorns."

There seem to be a few variants on the spelling itself, which often reflect differences in pronunciation across dialects; for example, while some speakers pronounce the second "t" in Strathern, others might leave it out of the spelling and simply use Straharn.

In short, the surname Strathern has many variant spellings and surnames which can be traced to a common origin in the valleys of Scotland.

Famous people with the name Strathern

  • Andrew Strathern: He is a Scottish actor, writer, and director. He has been a leading figure in the British independent film and theatre scene for over two decades, with numerous award-winning works.
  • Grant Strathern: He is a lawyer and founding partner of the Strathern law firm, one of the leading law firms in Ontario. He specializes in Business Law, including mergers & acquisitions, corporate restructuring, real estate, tax & estate planning, and more.
  • Joe Strathern: He is an American actor who is best known for his roles in films such as Big Dreams & Broken Hearts (2010) and Reclaimer (2016). He has also been in TV shows such as JAG and The Unit.
  • Lucy Strathern: She is a British actress best known for her role as Janet Carrington in the BBC TV series The Bletchley Circle.
  • Peter Strathern: He is an Australian journalist and author. He is the author of The Edge of the World: A History of Australia's Maritime Frontier, as well as the novels The Boy and the Flight and The Mount of Fortune.
  • William Strathern: He is a British investment banker and former corporate financier at several of the world's largest banking organizations. He has held senior positions in the corporate financial sector at firms such as Lehman Brothers, Barclays, JP Morgan, UBS, and Goldman Sachs.

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