This interesting name, with variant spellings Grayne and Gra(i)ne, has two possible origins; the first being from the Olde Norse personal or nickname "Grein" (literally meaning "branch"), and preserved in such place names as Grainsby in Lincolnshire, which was recorded as "Grenesbi" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname adopted from "Grein" or "Grain" is first recorded in the latter half of the 14th Century (see below). On October 4th 1556, Agnis Grayne married a John Shearle in St. Leonard's, Eastcheap, London.The second possibility is that the name is locational from the Isle of Grain in Kent, recorded as "Grein" in the Charter Rolls of that county, dated 1205, and as "Gren" in the 1232 Charter Rolls. On January 4th 1596, Jane Graine and Isaac Greenstreet were married in Canterbury, Kent, and on December 8th 1648, Thomas, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Grain, was christened in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Grayne, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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