Recorded as Moine and Moyne, this is an early English surname, although one which is confused with French origins. In that respect as 'moine and muigne' it was introduced by the Norman French invaders of 1066. These spellings in their earliest days described an official, one who seems to have had civic control over a castle or monastery. In later medieval times they became 'fused' with the Olde English word 'munec' meaning a monk, so that in the end all spelling described a monk. However on the basis that monks were unable to marry, and hence to father legitimate children, this surname clearly has some other meaning. In former times the travelling theatres concentrated on religious themes, and it is likely that for most name holders they are descendants of actors who played the part of monks. It is also possible that it is a nickname for people who were rather saintly and 'monkish', or perhaps given the robust Chaucerian humour of the 13th century, the complete reverse! Early examples of the recordings include Robert le Muine of Colchester, Essex, in 1115, Ralph Moin of Sussex in 1168, and Henry le Mogyne, also of Colchester in 1255.
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