Last name: Paige
This interesting name relates back to the origins of chivalry and heraldry and is an occupational descriptive name derived from the Middle English and Old French, "page", a friend or servant or a knighthood - many preferred to stay as a page. The name is not recorded before the Norman Conquest of 1066. One William le Page appears as a witness in the Court of Fines, Essex 1240. William Webster married Margery Page at Longhborough, Leicester on May 21st 1541, while Barbara, daughter of Thoma Page, was christened at South Kilworth in Leicester on October 29th 1574. One Margery Norton married Dunstone Page at Thurcaston-cum-Cropston, in Leicester on July 25th 1584. Thomas Page, with his wife and two children were some of the earliest settlers in America. They boarded the vessel "Increase" in April 1635, in the Port of London, bound for New England. Sir Francis Page (1661 - 1741), was a Barrister of the Inner Temple 1690, and known by his contemporaries as "the hanging judge". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Page, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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W Nigel Paige
Since my previous comment I have discovered that there were a number of Paige merchants who were mayors of Plymouth in the 15th.C. starting in 1449 so I think it is very doubtful that they were related to the various Pages mentioned above except perhaps the Ralph Page who was called the frenchman....it is often the case that careless clerks at the time and subsequent transcribers carelessly omit the i. I am now fairly sure of the french origin having identified the family in Normandy whence they came.
W Nigel Paige
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