Robert Fulton, the patriarch of the Strain Family, was born in 1770, either in Tennessee or North Carolina. He married Mary Elizabeth "Polly" Jack-Wilson from Kentucky in 1790, after which they migrated to Missouri Territory, Arkansas, in about 1828.
In Arkansas, the Strains settled mostly in and around Washington County. The children of Robert and Mary "Polly" grew and married into such prominent families as the Woods and the Maxwells.
In about 1855, some of the Strains spilled into Texas, settling in Collin, Parker and Freestone counties. There they lived, married, worked, died and were buried. The cemetery at Indian Gap in Mills County, Texas, is the final resting place for many family members who await the return of Lord Jesus.
The Strains were an industrious bunch, working at various trades and occupations, but most were farmers. When some of the Strains moved into Creek County, Oklahoma, the railroad industry became their main occupation, with Walter and his son Leonard Strain working as Switcher and Roundhouse Foreman, respectively, for the Frisco Line.
Today the Strain Family is scattered from Arkansas, all the way to California. Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada also are home to some Strains.
Before you dig into the files that we have posted on the following links, we hope you will enjoy the information that was shared with us by a new Strain relative, Damian Strain. He has done extensive research on the origins of the family name, and it is fascinating. Here are his findings:
You should also keep in mind the the Dalriadic Scots, who ended up giving Scotland its name migrated from Ireland in the 5th century AD or thereabouts. Most if not all the Gaels who eventually settled in the Isles were probably from Ireland, moving into empty territory and eventually conquering and assimilating the Picts. It is unlikely that the Strain name originated with the Picts, of whom we know very little. However, with the assimilation of the Picts by the Gaels there is a good chance that there is some Pict blood in our veins still!
Most of the Eurpoean surnames in countries such as Ireland and Scotland were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century most of the population had acquired a second name. The first people in Scotland and Ireland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly, lords of baronies and regalties and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames.
The Strains are undoubtedly of Celtic origin. There are two possible lines of origination; one in Ireland and one in Scotland. The Scottish version of the surname was a locational name, local from "Strachan," a town in Kincardineshire, Scotland. Early record of the name mention Walderus de Stratheihan with consent of Renulfus, his son and heir, granted the lands of Blarkerocch to the church of St. Andrew in 1200 AD.
The Irish version began in Ulster and the main evidence comes from an entry in the Annals of the Four Masters, a medievel manuscript written by Irish monks recording the history of Ireland. For the years 1204 AD they have an entry referring to Sitric O'Sruithen (meaning "stream" - this is why some members of the Strain ancestors took the name Bywater) which read, "Sitric O'Sruithen, Erenagh of Conwal, i.e. head of the Hy-Murtele, and chief man of all the Clann-Snedhgile for his worth, died, after exemplary penance, and was interred in the church which he had himself founded." This is the Irish name that the names Strain and Strahan are believed to be derived from. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory, Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
ARMS - Or a hart at gaze azure attired sable.
CREST - A demi stag springing or holding in his mouth a thistle proper.
MOTTO - Non timeo sed caveo (I do not fear but am cautious).
The Strains in Ireland are predominant in counties Donegal and Down. My own belief is that the Down Strains are more likely to originate from the placename Strachan and the Donegal Strains probably originated from Sitric O'Sruithen. I don't have much evidence for this except that Down is close to Scotland in the east, and Donegal in the west is where Sitric is buried. However, it's important to remember that although Strain is not a common name, it is quite common in Ulster and much less so in Scotland, with the majority of Scottish descendents still using the name Strachan. The Scottish Strains or Strachans most likely migrated to Ireland during the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century. Due to religious issues, and constant attacks from the locals, most eventually moved on to America and became known as the Scotch Irish or Ulster Scots. But that's a whole other story!
By Damian Strain (c)2001.
[Damian Strain lives in Dublin, Ireland, though he is originally from Omagh in Northern Ireland. Damian's grandparents are from County Donegal, not far from where Sitric is buried.]
It is our hope that you enjoy going through the pages of this Family History. As you click on the hyperlinks of various relatives, you will discover interesting tidbits, a few tall tales, obituaries, land records, and other documents that have been generously shared with us from so many we have learned are our "cousins." We thank each and every one of you who have been so kind and helpful. And keep the information coming!
The Strains of Jenks, Oklahoma
Bob, Susan and Timmy
LAST UPDATED: February 24, 2003
Washington County, Arkansas
STRAIN LAND RECORDS AND ABSTRACTS
Early Washington County, Arkansas
WILLS AND DEEDS
Includes the Will of Della Mae Johnson-Sconiers
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