Payne Family History
The family history of the ancient name Payne was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'the son of Pagen', the name Payne has a number of variants including Pain, Payn, Paine, Payen, Payan and Pyne. This name evolved and has a number of meanings including 'rustic' and 'heathen'. In spite of its un-Christian associations the name was very popular in the Middle Ages. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout the above islands. Examples of such are a Robert filius Payn, County Huntingdonshire, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273 and an Elis de Fitz-Payn, who was recorded in the 'Writs of Parliament' in the year 1297. A Thomas Payne was made a 'Freeman of the Plymouth Colony' in 1639 and was founder of a large American family which included Robert Treat Paine, 1731-1814, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. In Ireland the variant Pyne is found mainly in Cork with a few in County Clare and the rest in the other Munster Counties. There are records of six villages named Paynestown in Leinster.The Payne family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Payne descendants.