This unusual and interesting name has a number of possible origins. The first of these derives from the Middle English and Olde French word "cane", meaning "cane, reed", from the Latin "canna", and used either as a nickname for a tall, thin, "reedlike" man, or as a metonymic occupational name for a reed-gatherer. Reeds were widely used in the Middle Ages as a floor covering and for weaving small baskets. A second possible origin is from the town of Caen in Calvados, Normandy, named with the Gaullic elements "catu", battle, and "magos", field, plain, as Richard de Kain, (1275, Norfolk). Finally the name may derive from a Welsh woman's name "Keina", from "cain", beautiful. The modern surname may be "Cain", "Cane", "Kaine", "Kayne". Benjamin Kaine was christened in London on the 14th May 1618. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey Kein, which was dated 1198, in the "Documents form Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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