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Lang Family History
This is a surname of early Scandanavian, Anglo-Saxon (Germanic), and Irish origins. It has a number of possible and quite distinct sources, each with its own meaning and derivation. In the Scandanavian and Anglo-Saxon it probably originated as a descriptive nickname for a tall person. If so the derivation is from the pre 7th century word "lang", meaning long or tall, or it may have been a residential name for a person who lived at a "langa". This was a long area of ground cultivated for agriculture...
Lang (Variants: Lange, Long, Lung, Laing, Layng, Leng)
A Scottish, English, Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish, and Jewish nickname for a tall person. From Older Scots, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle German, and in Danish lang ‘long’, in Swedish lång.
In Hungarian, deriving from láng ‘flame’, possibly a nickname for a passionate person, or a man with a fighting spirit.
In Chinese, a non-standard romanisation of the Chinese surname ? (Leung). Also a Mandarin form of the Chinese surname ? (Long).
Early bearers of the surname include: Adam ye Langge, 1297 in Subsidy Rolls (Yorks); Richard Langa, 1332 in Subsidy Rolls (Great Torrington, Devon); Reginald Lange, 1332 in Subsidy Rolls (Churston Ferrers, Devon); Johannes Layng’, 1377 in Poll Tax (Lydeard Saint Lawrence, Somerset); Robertus Lange, 1379 in Poll Tax (Chilton Polden, Somerset); Edi. Lang, 1540 in IGI (Halifax, WR Yorks); Wyllyam Lang, 1540 in IGI (Barnstaple, Devon); John Lang, 1574 in IGI (Dalton in Furness, Lancs); Christian Lange, 1636 in IGI (Nettlecombe, Somerset); James Lang, 1789, Frances Laing, 1829 in IGI (North Petheton, Somerset).
John Robertson Lang, a Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on 3 September 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
In 1881, the surname was prevalent in South Scotland, especially Glasgow. It was also frequent in Lancashire and WR Yorkshire. Also Devon and Somerset had a high frequency of the surname. In Devon, there were 884 occurrences with 98 residing in Plymouth district.
In the same census year, the most common Lang occupation in the UK was Farmer, along with Labourer and Agricultural Labourer as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Lang. A less common occupation was Coal Miner.
In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 4,035 occurrences and 2,381 in Scotland.
The noted, Andrew Lang (1844-1912), a Scottish poet, writer and anthropologist, best known for his fairy tales. His publications included folklore, mythology and religion.
William Cosmo Gordon Lang (1864 – 1945) was a Scottish Anglican prelate who served as Archbishop of Canterbury between 1928 and 1942. He this post he was also the Archbishop of York between 1909 and 1928.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Devon
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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