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Surname Paynel - Meaning and Origin

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Paynel: What does the surname Paynel mean?

The surname Paynel originates from a French derivation of the name ‘Paganel’, which is derived from the old French word ‘Paganel’, meaning a small peasant. This name was commonly given to serfs and peasants of the Middle Ages.

The original root of this name was likely adapted from Latin or Gaulish origins, with ‘pagus’ meaning ‘country’ or place, and ‘ones’, which indicated something of a small size. This name was spread through Europe during the Middle Ages when the feudal system was in place.

In France the surname reached its highest numbers in the 16th century. It spread from France to Northern Europe, specifically to England and Scandinavia. By the 17th century, Paynel families had settled more commonly in modern day Ireland, especially in counties like Mayo and Waterford where the highest concentrations remain today.

The Paynel family name in France appears to have been quite uncommon over the centuries. However, it continues to find a strong presence in its modern forms, like ‘Paynow’ and ‘Payne’ which are common variations of the original surname. It is thought that the name has also spread to regions such as the United States of America, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

Although the original form of the name may not be found in many places today, the name Paynel remains a reminder of the strong influence of French culture across Europe and further afield.

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Paynel: Where does the name Paynel come from?

The last name Paynel is quite rare and is chiefly found in France today. According to the genealogy research website,, less than 500 people have the last name in the world. It is believed to have originated in France as far back as the 13th century, and records show that it is found mainly in Brittany and Northern France.

The name Paynel may come from the pre-Roman Gaulish word "penn" meaning "head" or "chief". Other theories suggest that it is derived from the Old French word "paon" meaning "peacock". Over time, it has transformed into different spellings such as Painel, Parnel and Paynel.

It is believed that the Paynel family moved to England in the 17th and 18th centuries, settling in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. Although the name is not as common as it was in these regions, there are still a few Paynel families living in the south-west of England today. It has become a more widely spread surname over the years, with records showing Paynels living in other parts of Europe, North and South America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Despite the rarity of the surname, it has survived for centuries and shows its history and the migrations of the Paynel family.

Variations of the surname Paynel

The Paynel surname is of French origin and can have many different spelling variants, and even take on the form of different surnames. Variants of Paynel include Pagnel, Paganel, Paynal, Paynelle, Paynet, Paine, Painel, Painelle, Payen, Paynet, Paigneux, Panet, and Pannet. The varying spellings of Paynel suggest that over the centuries, people have changed the spelling to whatever sounded better with their particular dialects.

When the Normans invaded England in 1066, they brought the Paynel surname with them. Paynel could be found in many records in England from the 12th century onward. In the 1600s, the family branches spread from England to the United States.

In France, the Paynel surname can take on the following spellings: Pagette, Paget, Pageau, Pagé, Page, and Paiement. These are all derivatives of the original Paynel surname.

When anglicizing the Paynel surname in the United States, the spelling can become Paine, which is the most common variant in the United States. Other variant spellings for Paine include Payne, Pain, Panne, Payn, Pann, Panno, Paynen and Pannet. Pain often takes on a different surname line, such as Painful, Painstack, Paines, Painos, and Painburger.

Therefore, the Paynel family name can have many different spellings throughout history, with Paine being the most common in the United States. It is important to research the various spellings of Paynel and Paine in order to gain a full understanding of the family’s history.

Famous people with the name Paynel

  • Alexei Paynel, French actor
  • Danielle Paynel, French singer
  • Feodor Paynel, Russian poet
  • Freya Paynel, British actress
  • Grant Paynel, British actor
  • Helen Paynel, American singer
  • James Paynel, American architect
  • John Paynel, English musician
  • Kay Paynel, American actor
  • Liza Paynel, Russian painter
  • Matvey Paynel, Russian poet
  • Nastasia Paynel, French sculptor
  • Oskar Paynel, German mathematician
  • Pierre Paynel, French playwright
  • Rachel Paynel, British physicist
  • Safa Paynel, Turkish filmmaker
  • Thomas Paynel, French astronomer
  • Yevgeny Paynel, Soviet composer
  • Zara Paynel, British author

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