This is an surname of English, French and Irish origins. Recorded in many spellings including Loan, Lane, Lain and Layne, it has three distinct possible origins. The first and most likely being a topographical name for one resident in a narrow pathway between fences or hedges, later used of any narrow passage including one between houses in a town. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lanu", and early recordings of the surname from this source include: Osbertus in Lane of the county of Surrey in the year 1212; Adam Ithelane of Bedfordshire in 1227; and Nicholas atte Lone of Worcestershire in 1275. Lane may also have originated as an occupational name for a worker in wool, from the Old French word "laine" meaning wool, and introduced after the Invasion of 1066. Lane may be derived from an Anglicized form of two Gaelic Irish surnames, "O'Laighin meaning the descendant of Laighean, a byname translating as "spear", and O'Luain meaning the descendant of the warrior. Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, revered elders, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", meaning grandson or male descendant of, or "Mac", denoting "son of". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de la Lane, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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