This distinguished surname, with over thirty Coats of Arms, and several entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Old French male given name "Paien", itself coming from the Latin "Paganus". The Latin name is a derivative of "pagus", outlying village, and meant at first a rustic, then a civilian as opposed to a soldier, and finally a heathen (one not enrolled in the army of Christ). In the early Middle Ages, Paien was popular as a personal name, due to the romantic associations of its early meaning of "rustic, country-dweller", and examples of same include: Edmund filius (son of) Pagen, noted in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Somerset, and Reginaldus filius Pain, entered in the 1185 Knights' Templars Records of Lincolnshire.In 1220 one, William Paen was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls of Somerset, and a Ralph Payn appears in Records of Cambridgeshire, dated 1221. Notable 15th Century namebearers include: Peter Payne, principal of St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, 1410-1414, and John Payne, Master of the Rolls in Ireland (1496). In April 1635, William Payne, aged 37, together with his wife Anna, and children William, Anna, Jo, and Daniell, aged respectively 10, 5 and 3 years, and 8 weeks, embarked from London on the ship "Increase" bound for New England. They were among the earliest recorded bearers of the name to settle in America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Pain, which was dated 1190, in the "Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard 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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