This interesting surname with variant spellings Mayne(s), Main(s), Maine, Meyne and Menne has a number of possible origins. It may have originated from the Menzies clan in Scotland as Meinn is the local Gaelic form of Menzies, itself originally being de Meyners, indicating a Norman locational name, or probably someone from the French province of Meine, neighbouring Normandy. It may also have been a descriptive nickname from the old French "maine" meaning strength or great, thus indicating a powerful person, or from the old French "main" meaning hand; hence person "with the hands" implying someone who had creative hands. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century, among the first is one, Adam de Meine registered in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset (1205). On April 17th, 1707, William Meins, son of Thomas and Mary Meins was christened in St. Ann's, Soho, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Main, (witness), which was dated 1204, The Assize Rolls of Yorkshire, 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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