This interesting surname, of French origin, is a locational name from Maine, an ancient French province, with the prefix "de" meaning "from". The surname was first introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Invasion of 1066, and later by French Huguenots. During the mid to late 17th Century thousands of French Huguenots fled to England, and other countries, to escape religious persecution on the Continent, especially after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis X1V in 1685.The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include Robert de Maine in the 1213 Curia Regis Rolls of Somerset. Recordings from London Registers include: the christening of Pierre, son of Pierre De Main, on May 3rd 1640, at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church; the christening of Pierre Demain, on March 26th 1643, also at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church; and the christening of Joannes Demaine on August 4th 1668, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. James (aged 27 yrs.) and Michael (aged 29 yrs.) Demain, were famine emigrants who sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Patrick-Henry" bound for New York on April 5th 1847. A Coat of Arms was granted to the family which is a shield divided quarterly red with a gold lion rampant in the first and fourth quarters and a series of silver lozenges in the second and third quarters with an escutcheon consisting of a gold charge with a blue cross. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Meine, which was dated 1205, in the "Pipe Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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