This very interesting surname is recorded in several spellings including Trin, Treen, and Train. It has three possible origins, English, French and Scottish, and for any particular nameholder, only extensive genealogy could decide the true national origination. The first derivation is from the Old French "traine", a word introduced after the 1066 Norman Invasion of England, and generally used as a metonymic or nickname for a trapper or hunter of wild animals. one who has to use skill and guile in his work.The second possible source is from a Scottish form of the Old pre 7th century Norse-Viking "trani". This word means the 'crane', and as such was used as a nickname for someone with the supposed physical characteristics of this then common bird. The third source is locational from two places in Devonshire, 'Train' in Wembury and 'Traine' in Modbury, both places mean "at the trees". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Early examples of the surname spelling include Robert Trayne of Somerset in 1243, Richard Trane of York in 1301, Thomas Trewen of Devon in 1311, and Thomas Tran of Scotland in 1455. Later examples are Ann Treen, who was christened at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on February 3rd 1603, whilst William Train and Dorothy Richards were married at Parracombe, Devon, on March 4th 1696. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Warin Traine, which was dated 1181, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "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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