There appears to be no satisfactory explanation of the origin of this surname STREGE except that it may have been derived from the foreign Stretz. Nevertheless the name was familiar in County Cheshire as early as the 16th century, and it is almost certain that it is of English origin. It has been suggested that the name was derived from the Old English word STREC a nickname meaning one who was strong. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The earliest record of the name appears to be Richard Estrech, who was recorded in 1176 in Worcestershire, and Adam Strecche was documented in 1210 in Hampshire. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Later instances of the name mention William Stretch of Gorstich, who was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1596, and John Stretch of Chester was an Innholder there in 1606. John Potter and Hannah Stretch were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1763.
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