This interesting surname may be a metonymic occupational name for a trapper or hunter, deriving from the Middle English "trayne", Old French "traine" meaning "guile", "trickery", "a trap or snare for catching wild animals". Recordings include one Robert Trayne (1243), "The Assize Rolls of Durham". Secondly, it is a nickname for a person bearing a fancied resemblance to the bird the crane, deriving from the Old Norse "trani" meaning "crane". Recordings of this include Richard Trane (1301), "The Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire", and Thomas Tran (1458) a charter witness at the burgh of irvina. Finally, in Devonshire the surname is derived from Train in Wembury or Traine in Modbury, the homes respectively of Thomas atte Trewen (1311), and John Tirry atte Trewen (1370), "The Preconguest Personal Names of the Domesday Book", from the Old English "treen", "trees". London church records include Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Tran, who was christened on February 8th 1699, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and Paul Trann married Catharina Mac la Kieller on January 26th 1853, at St. James Dukes Place, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warin Traine, which was dated 1181, "The Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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