Liddel Water Armystrand to Armstrong



St. Andrews;



St. Andrews (Andreas), Proto-Germanic Linguistic Evolution

and our Crozier ally;

Crozier migration


Noted; is felt the Armystrand name of Laird of Mangerton evolved to Armstrong, a name already in existence. Though it is felt that a great majority of Armstrong are of the Liddel, one can properly say that the name Armstrong which the people of the Liddel adopted originated in another way.

Scot and Armystrand


Gilbert Armstrong distingushed cleric Provost of th Cathedral of St Andrews in 1361&1373.


Alexandir Armystrand

Alexandir Armystrand laird of Mangerton is the Chief of the Armystrand in 1376.


Armystrand means; an army along a river bank, a strand.

Webster's df strand

It can be seen that in 1576 there is a strand of Armstrong peel towers along the Liddel. Though the name Armstrong was already in early existence, it is felt that the Armstrong of the army strand along the Liddel, which are felt to be the majority of Armstrong today received their name from evolving Armystrand to Armistrang to Armstrong.


Eric Liddell which ran for Scotland in France in 1924, of “Chariots of Fire” fame has a 99% likelihood that his family is also from the Liddel, and that name was easily changed to Little. 

The Little were of the Liddel Water in Debatable Lands.

Little from Liddel Water







Johnie Armstrong’s Glenockie-Hollows Tower, in 1576 when Saxton, made the map, may have been in ruins, and not placed on map. Though today Glenockie Tower, is the one standing with care taken by the Clan Armstrong Trust.


The name became Armistrang which means army strong or strong army.



Armistrand (1) Armistrand (2)


Given the numbers Armestrang 300 (the strong army), Ellwoodes 74 (those people of the woods, which is surveyed by metes and bounds, by the standardized Edinburgh ell, which was used at the time for measurement, after the Union the English yard, now the French metre is used), Nixon 32.

Ellwoodes Elwald Ellot Elliot Liddesdale 1547

In 1547 when the Edinburgh standard ell was used in measurement. Which army would you consider the strong army. The Armestrang at 300, the Ellwoodes at 74 or the Nixons at 32.

Armistrang becomes an already established name Armstrong. Likely taken from the Armstrong shield as represented at the top of the Milnholm Cross with strong arms on it


Milnholm-Cross-addition (1)Northumbria location map

The Armstrong name has a basic Northumbria distribution.

Armstrong surname 1891 distributionArmstrong 1891 surname distribution  Armstrong-distribution-1881-213x300

Surname adoption by the Armstrong is felt to be in the United Kingdom near the border with migration to the Plantation of Ulster.




Europe - Armstrong






Fairbairn-distribution-1-214x300 Fairbairn-distribution-3-189x300 Fairbairn-distribution-1881-210x300


Fairbairn is said to be the previous name to Armstrong. By examining the surname distributions of Armstrong and Fairbairn, it is felt that the Fairbairn surname could have been along the border, then Fairbairn along the Liddel Water became Armstrong, therefore giving the Armstrong a distribution more to the west side of the border and the Fairbairn leaning towards the east side of the border.

M Elliott 11/10/2014 updated 11/21/2014

Elliot, Elliott, Armstrong, and Fairbairn, country locality, and forename comparisons;

Elliot Elliott Armstrong and Fairbairn




It is felt that the Elwald/Ellot and the Armystrand/Armstrong as brethren carry similar characteristics of living in trees along the water.

It is felt that my surname, though likely not most people which have the surname Armstrong today started with Armystrand, but my surname began basically as Elfwald and Elfwaldus in Latin.

Where in Danish ulf means wolf, elg means elk/moose, and elfi means river, and elf means elf.


Elf elfr-river ON


Ulf near York


Dictionary of the Scottish Languge;

ulf elf DSL


The Danish ulf and elg are not known well in Anglia, and likely if people live in trees along a river and the personal name was used to represent and Anglo-Danish Saint/King, and if for instance in Norfolk where folk lived in north Anglia, and Elfwald/Elfwaldus, may have a son named Alan/Alanus (used on the borders as a surname) the name may become Alan Elwald/Alanus Elfwaldus in Latin, and maybe passed on were a descendant a couple of generations down would have a son Robert Elwald, Scandinavian because he has a pledge from Jarum/Jarrow.

Alanus Elwoldus of Bec 1248

Robert Elwald of Remington 1305 father Alan pledge of Jarum



Given the distribution pattern of today’s Armstrong name, though Armystrand to Armistrang to Armstrong, is the evolution of the name along the Liddel Water where a strand of peel towers were built, and out numbered the border Ellot three to one being the strongest border army, it is felt likely for those Armstrong further south; southern Anglo-Danish Northumbria today’s English Yorkshire, that is this region is the region Siward Beorn the strong arm the Liddel Water strand when they were no longer an army strand, or a strong army the family likely influence by their Siward Beorn roots became Armstrong, and showed it on there shield which they topped the Milnholm Cross with ca 1883. The true strong arm of the Armstrong is everyone pitching in, where the collected Danish Border result  is better than that of single Norman monarch;

It is better to be a Danish devil, than a Norman saint.

Mark Elliott    8/1/2015

Though along the Liddel Water, the names Little of Liddel, and Armstrong of Armystrand, Armistrang, developed, the name Armstrong existed previous to the ones along the Liddel the army strand, strong army adopting the name Armstrong.

In the fourteenth century, previous to the University an Gilbert Armstrong taught to the christian church, of the rectory of St. Andrews.



It is felt that my Y-DNA corresponds to Armstrong (Armystrand-Armistrong) of the Liddel Water, and the disbursement of the Y-DNA into northern Ireland and Scotland is represented by the disbursement of the Armstrong into these regions at the time of the Union of the Crowns, as shown above.


The name ‘Armstrong’ already exist when the people along the Liddel were using the names ‘Armystrand’ (army strand), and ‘Armistrang’ (army strong), but after The Union they were no longer a strong army and took on the name ‘Armstrong’.

Johnie Armstrong of Hollows Tower, Glenockie, used a seal with and arm on it in the sixteenth century;

Johnie Armstrong 16th c seal

Hollows tower Genockie Garden Johnie Armstrong

Though the shield with the arm on it was added to the Milnholm Cross in the later half of the nineteenth century, well after the people of the Armystrand-Armistrang adopted for themselves the name Armstrong, it’s placement on top of the Milnholm cross, can be deceptive indicating it was of an earlier era.

There are versions, from Armstrongs themselves establishing the origins of the name Armstrong. The writer not being an Armstrong will not conclude the origins of the name, but only conclude it existed when the Armystrand-Armistrang people of the Liddel Water had these names, and are felt to be the greatest block to adopt the formally accepted existing name Armstrong, along with the 16th century shield-seal of Johnie Armstrong, of Hollows, of Glenockie, north and near the waters of the Liddel, with today’s symbol of the strong arm of the Armstrong.

Mark S. Elliott    3-12-2016

Pictish DNA Discovery for the Armstrong?

The Pict Y-DNA was in the region of the Liddel Water in which, the Armystrand c 1376 (army strand along Liddel Water), evolved to c1541 Armistrang (pre Union of Crown armi strang; strong army), to when they were no longer considered a strong army after The Union to Armstrong.

Bob Armstrong FTDNA blog; Pictish Discovery?

Pictish Discovery


Even The Pope on a visit to Scotland in his St. Ninian tartan, looked kind of like an Armstrong;


Map showing Picts in region of surname adoption of some Armstrongs;


Armstrong Fairbairn Elliot Y-DNA link



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