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Surname Payn - Meaning and Origin

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Payn: What does the surname Payn mean?

The last name Payn is of both English and French origin stemming from the medieval personal name "Paien" or "Payen". It has its roots in the Latin term "Paganus" which originally meant "villager" or "peasant". After the rise of Christianity, the term began to be used to signify "non-combatant" or "civilian" and later evolved into referring to "non-religious" or "heathen". The name Payn or Payne became common in England after the Norman Conquest in 1066, introduced by the Normans who adopted the name from their French counterparts. It's also believed to be a patronymic surname, derived from the name Peter, through the Old French form, Pierre, and its diminutive, Pierrot, which was Anglicized to Payn. Therefore, Payn can mean "son of Peter". Over time, this evolved into a standalone surname. Despite these many definitions, the origins and exact meaning of Payn can vary depending on the family's history and location.

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Payn: Where does the name Payn come from?

The last name Payn is most commonly found in the United Kingdom, particularly England, where it originated. It is also seen in other English speaking countries such as Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.

In England, the last name Payn is especially common in the southwest, with the county of Devon having the highest concentration of Payns. Many Payns spread from there to other parts of the country such as Wales and Scotland.

In Ireland, the largest number of Payns can be found in County Kerry. This is likely due to the fact that many people from that area emigrated to America in the early 19th Century.

In North America, Payns are most prominently found in the United States where they settled in large numbers, primarily in New England, particularly Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. With the lure of available land, farming families began to move westward and Payns can now be found in most states. Other Payns settled in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

In Canada, Payns are most prominent in Ontario and Quebec, with smaller concentrations in the Prairie Provinces.

In Australia, the Payn population is concentrated in South Australia and New South Wales, while in New Zealand they primarily settled in Canterbury.

Today, the Payn surname is fairly widespread and is most commonly found in the regions in which it originated and the countries to which it spread during emigration.

Variations of the surname Payn

Payn is a surname of English origin deriving from the French ‘paisne’, meaning payne or small peasant.

The variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for Payn include:

Pane, Payan, Payen, Paynes, Pain, Payne, Payant, Payantn, Paine, Paen, Pann, Paon, Paone, Penn, Pheon, Pein, Payne, Peon, Payann, Poyen, Poyne, Poan, Poyant, Pyne.

Payn is a surname that is most prevalent in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although it is seen in other parts of the world. In the United States, in particular, Payn is a bit less common. However, the name Payn has a long history there, too, with the first recorded Payn family migrating from Cornwall to America in 1627.

The name Payn derives from a combination of two distinct names - Payne and Pane. The traditional spelling, Payne, originates from the Old French word 'paisne', meaning peasant. Pane, which is sometimes used as a variant of Payne, comes from the Old French 'pagan', meaning a pagan or non-Christian.

The Payne variation of Payn is believed to have descended from strong Norman roots, while the Pane version of the surname has medieval origins in France and England.

Payne, Peyne, Pain, Payan, Payen, Pyn, Paynes, Pheon, Paune, Paen, Penn, Penne, Payant, Payantn, Pein, Poan, Poane, Poyen, Poyne, Pyen, Pyne, Poyant, and Paon are all variants of the same Payn surname.

In conclusion, the variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for the surname Payn are numerous. Depending on the country of origin, each form of the name has a slightly different interpretation.

Famous people with the name Payn

  • James Payn: a Victorian novelist remembered for his collection of stories “Wanderings by southern waters, eastern Aquitaine”.
  • Gilbert Payn: a British doctor and author who wrote the psychological thriller “Murder in the Music Hall”.
  • Garry Payn: a tattoo artist and photographer, known for his naturalistic portrait-style tattoos.
  • Sam Payn: a British musician and YouTube personality, best known for his love of British punk and blues-rock.
  • Peter Payn: a British actor and comedian, best known for his roles in the sitcom “My Hero” and the feature film “The King’s Speech”.
  • Charlie Payn: a British poet and essayist, winner of several literary awards including the Guardian First Book Award.
  • Sarah Payn: a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, best known for founding the ethical brand “People Tree”.
  • Joe Payn: a British sportsman, best known for his international rugby career with the England team.
  • Kate Payn: a British fashion designer, best known for her children’s wear line, “Miniway Kids”.
  • Geoff Payn: a British author and playwright, whose plays have been produced in the London West End and Off-Broadway.

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