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Surname Paine - Meaning and Origin

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Exploring My Surname's Roots with iGENEA’s DNA Test: A Journey from Paine to Pan-European Heritage

Discovering my patrilineal and matrilineal lineage using a DNA test at iGENEA transformed my understanding of my surname Paine, tracking it from being purely English, to a richly textured Western European origin. Supported by robust data analysis and accuracy, I explored my roots with confidence.

I. Paine

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Paine: What does the surname Paine mean?

Paine is an ancient English surname with Norman-French origins. It is derived from the Old French personal name "Paien" or "Pain," that were popular during the medieval period. This personal name came from the Latin "Paganus," which originally meant "rural" or "rustic," but gradually changed its meaning to refer to a "heathen" or a "non-believer" during Christian times.

Over the centuries, the surname Paine has seen several variations in its spelling such as Payne, Pane, Payn, Pagan, Pagon and others. The surname became well-established in England after the Norman Conquest in 1066, and it is believed to have been first brought over by a follower of William the Conqueror. Famous bearers of this surname include Thomas Paine, the English-born American political activist, philosopher, and Founding Father of the United States, and Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Therefore, the last name Paine symbolizes a historical story of transformation, from a simple rural origin to an identifier pushing against religious norms, echoing the steadfastness and resilience of its bearers throughout history.

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Paine: Where does the name Paine come from?

The surname Paine is derived from the medieval personal name Payen, which is of French origin. Today, this surname is common in the English-speaking world, particularly in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The highest concentration of Paine households is in the United States. According to the 2020 US Census, the largest states with the highest absolute numbers of Paine households are California, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts.

Moreover, the Paine surname is also prevalent in Great Britain, especially in England, where it is ranked among the top 100 surnames. In 2019, Paine was the 58th most common surname in England, with about 17,500 people sharing this name.

In Canada, the Paine surname is mainly prevalent in the provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia. According to the Canada Census, the number of people with the last name Paine in Canada is estimated to be around 9,500.

The Paine surname is also found in other parts of the world, including Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Latin America.

Variations of the surname Paine

The surname Paine is of English origin, and it has a number of variants and spellings, as well as related surnames. These include Payn, Payne, Pane, Pain, and Paines.

The spelling Payne is believed to be a variant of Paine, originating from the French name Payen. Payen was sometimes written as Pagne or Payen, and this eventually became Payne, or Pain in some cases. This surname was popularized by various influential families in England during the Middle Ages, such as the de Payens, who held lands in Somerset and in other southern areas of England.

Payn is a variant of Payne, and is sometimes spelt as Payne or Payen. Paine is the original spelling and was used by a number of prominent families in England including the family of Englishman Thomas Paine, author of The Rights of Man. Pain is a variant spelling which could possibly have originated from Paine.

Paines is a variant of Payne which may have arisen from a mis-transcription of Payne. The variation Paines became especially common among members of the paine family who were relocated to the North West of England during the 19thcentury.

Relatives of those bearing the surname Paine should also be aware of related surnames, such as Paynter, Payntar, Payne, Pane and Paynter. These could be obsolete spelling variants of, or derivatives of the original surname Paine.

Famous people with the name Paine

  • Thomas Paine: an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. He famously wrote the pamphlet Common Sense, which argued for American independence from Britain.
  • Alfred Pain: a 19th century English diarist and bibliographer best known for his work, A Descriptive Catalogue of Friends' Books.
  • Peter Paine: a 20th century American attorney and lobbyist for the tobacco industry. He successfully argued in the landmark protection case, Lorillard v. P. Lorillard Co.
  • Ruth Paine: an American teacher, best known for her role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as she was the host of accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • Richard Paine:an American businessman and owner of two multinational corporations, Standard Oil Trust and US Steel. He was also an active philanthropist and a major benefactor of numerous universities and humanitarian organizations.
  • Juliette Paine: an American portrait artist from the early 20th century. She painted prominent personalities of the time, including Supreme Court justices, New York City Elite, and prominent philanthropists.
  • Mary Paine: an American novelist and playwright. Her most successful works include her Pulitzer-winning play "The Glass Menagerie," and the novel "The Human Comedy."
  • Francis Paine: a 17th century British theologian and clergyman. He was an early advocate of human rights, tolerance, and religious freedom.
  • Pressley Paine: an American soldier, politician, and farmer from the 19th century. He served in the Civil War, was the first mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, and ran for president of the United States.

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