This interesting and unusual name can be either English or Scottish in origin. As an English surname it is derived from an Anglo-Saxon 'status' or occupational term, the Olde English pre 7th Century word 'theg(e)n', in Middle English 'thayn', meaning a noble retainer or attendant, also a tenant by military service. The surname is recorded first in England at the end of the 12th Century (see below), where the name development includes Adam Thein (1221, Suffolk) and William le Theyn (1243, Somerset). In Scotland the first recording of the surname is in 1222, when one Lorne Theine de Ures witnessed a charter by Randulf de Strathphetham. The Scottish name may in some cases be locational in origin, from the place called 'Tain' in Easter Ross, which was recorded in 1255 as 'Thayne' and in 1283 as 'Thane'. William Thaine married Jane Stear at St. Anne's, Aldergate in London on the 20th January 1725. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey le Thein, which was dated 1199, The Northamptonshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King John, '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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