When John Armstrong was born about 1820, in Upper Granville, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Canada, his father, Francis Armstrong, was 30 and his mother, Nancy Hutton, was 29.
English and Scottish (mainly Northumberland and the Scottish Borders): nickname from Middle English arm + strang, for someone who was ‘strong in the arm’.
Irish (Ulster): adopted as an English equivalent of Gaelic Ó Labhradha Tréan ‘strong O'Lavery’ or Mac Thréinfhir, literally ‘son of the strong man’.
History: This surname was brought to PA, NJ, and NH in the 18th century by several different families of northern Irish and northern English Protestants. One such was James Armstrong, who emigrated from Fermanagh to Cumberland County, PA, in 1745; another was John Armstrong (1720–95), who settled in Carlisle, PA, c. 1748.