Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Payne Name
Payne Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a baptismal or patronymic surname meaning “the son of Pagan”, an old personal (first) name, the reducing form of this masculine given name being Payne or Pain. It was a surname that came into England from Normandy, France at the era of the Norman Conquest of 1066 AD. The name may ultimately be of Roman origin, deriving from the Latin paganus, meaning a person who lived in the countryside (or was a heathen). The word later morphed into the Old French paien. Its use as a personal name began to wane during the 1500s AD, but it’s a very common surname throughout the English speaking world. It may have referred to the rudeness or backwardness of the bearer, similar to the development of the surname Savage or Wildman. In the Doric dialect in Italy, the name signifies a fountain, and a rural neighborhood who frequented the same fountain for water (similar to a town square or well). One author derives it from paon, the French word for peacock. One source also asserts this is a locational/habitational name deriving from a locale in Normandy, France called Payne.The family owned land in East Grinstead, county Sussex, England where they were established for several centuries.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Payn, Pain, Paine, Paynee, Paynne, and Fitz-Payne. Similar foreign names include Peini (Norse), Pein/PenertPinn (German), Pain/Peigne/Pineau (French), Payen/Pien (Flemish), and Pen/Penn (Dutch).
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Payne ranks 183rd in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following five states: Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Alabama.
The surname Payne frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (128th), Scotland (428th), Wales (103th), Ireland (1,032nd) and Northern Ireland (823rd). In England, it ranks highest in county Bedfordshire. In Scotland, the surname Payne ranks highest in Kirkcudbrightshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in Monmouthshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Queen’s County. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in Londonderry.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (366th), New Zealand (176th), Australia (159th), and South Africa (633rd).
The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: “Payne,Paine,Pain. —Excepting Lincolnshire, where it is but scantily represented, the different forms of this name do not occur in England north of a line drawn west from the Wash. It however, remarkable that a colony of Paynes has been established across the Scottish border in Dumfriesshire. They are rare or absent in the south – western counties and in the western midlands, excluding Herefordshire; and are mostly crowded together in the south – eastern quarter of England, especially in Essex, Kent, Sussex, Hants, Cambridgeshire, and Bucks. Lower, following other authorities, derives this name from Paganus or Paganel, a common Norman personal name, which during the Norman dynasty assumed the forms of Pagan, Paynel, Payen, and Pain, and was then one of the commonest names in England. In the 13th century it was well represented as Pain and Payn in Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, and Suffolk, and as Payn alone in Norfolk (Hundred Rolls), so that it would seem that Lower’s statement that the Norfolk Paynes have kept together in that county since the 15th century does not go far enough. We learn also from the same source that one of the greatest colonies of the Paynes is at East Grinstead, in Sussex, where for several centuries they have been very abundant. The permanence of this name in the south – east quarter of England is especially noteworthy. It was numerous six centuries ago in counties where it is still established, namely, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and probably also Sussex. For an ingenious explanation of the origin of this name through Paynel, Paganel, and Pagan I. must refer the reader to an extensive footnote in Chapter XXI. of Gibbon’s Roman Empire”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The Domesday Book of 1086 AD, a survey of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror, lists a one Edmund filius (son of) Pagen in county Somerset. A Reginoldus filius Pain, a member of the Knights Templars in the Crusades, was documented in the Register of Lincolnshire in 1185 AD. Jone Pane was recorded in Worcester in 1190 AD and Stephen Paynes was listed in the Patent Rolls of 1230 AD in London. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists two bearers of this surname: Robert filius (son of) Payn (Huntingdonshire) and Glibert Payn (Essex). Elis le Fitz-Payn was documented in the Writs of Parliament in 1297 AD. Thomas Payn was recorded in county Somerset in 1327 AD in Kirby’s Quest. An early baptism involving this surname was Susanna Pain, daughter of Robert and Elisabeth, at the parish of St. Michael’s, Barbados in the Caribbean in 1678.
Payne Family Tree & Payne Genealogy
The progenitor or ancestor of this family was Thibault de Payen who was born in France in 1001 AD. The following is a pedigree from him:
Tybaud the Moor Gardille de Payen (born around 1012 in Normany, France).
Tibaud Payen (born in Normandy, France in 1035 AD)
Hugh Payen (born in France in 1070 AD)
Thomas Paine I (born in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England around 1145 AD)
Thomas Paine II (born in England in 1170 AD)
Thomas Paine III (born in Market Bosworth in 1200 AD)
Thomas Payne IV (born in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire around 1245 AD)
Thomas Payne V (born in Market Bosworth, England in 1285 AD)
Thomas Payne VI (born in Somerset, England in 1327 AD)
William Payne (born in Yorkshire, England in 1347 AD)
John Payne (born in Norwich in 1395 AD)
John Payne (born in Frittenden, Kent in 1420 AD)
Stephen Payne (born in Frittenden, Kent around 1455 AD)
Lord John Payne III (born in Frittenden around 1483 AD)
John Paine or Payne (born in Frittenden around 1510 AD)
Nicholas Paine (born in Frittenden around 1535 AD)
Moses Paine or Payne (born in Frittenden around 1581 AD)
John Payne (born in Frittenden in 1613). This John went to colonial America. He married several times and had issue named Robert, Ralph, Richard, Margaret, Elizabeth, John, George, William, William, George, and John. He died in Rappahannock Virginia in January of 1689.
William Payne (born before 1652)
William Payne II (born in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1692). William married Alicia Jones and Ann Jennings, having four children: Ann (Lewis), William, Edward, and John. His son William was born in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1724. He married Susannah Clarke and had issue with her: Alicia (Cooke or Cocke), William IV, Mary (Bayly), Abigail Ann (Ayers), Duval, and John. His Duval Payne was born in Fairfax, VA in 1764. He married Hanna Innes Brent and had issue with her named Penelope (Vertner) and John. His son John was born in 1788 in Lancaster County, VA. He married Letitia Whiteman and had issue with her: Penelope, Eliza S., Duvall, Clarissa J., Benjamin W., John, Letitia, Matilda, and Catherine. His son Benjamin W. Payne was born in 1828 and he married Elizabeth Warman. He died in Kentucky in 1866 AD.
Early American and New World Settlers
A family bearing this surname came to New England aboard the Increase in April 1635: William (age 37) and Anna Payne (age 40), husband and wife, who brought their four children named William, Anna, Joseph, and Daniell. Suzan Payne, age 11, came aboard the same ship, and assumedly, she was part of the aforementioned family.
William Payne, age 15, came to New England aboard the Abigall in June 1635.
Joseph Payne, age 14, came to New England aboard the Abigall in June 1635.
Thomas Payne, age 23, came to Virginia aboard the Transport in July 1635.
Elizabeth Payne, age 21, came to Virginia aboard the Assurance in July 1635.
Robert Payne, age 21, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the Amitie in October 1635.
Joseph Payne, age 18, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the Mathew of London in May 1635.
Tobias Payne was buried in the parish of St. James, Barbados in July 1679.
Robert Paine of Marrozion, age 29, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the Margarett in March 1633.
John Paine was recorded as living in Virginia in February 1623.
A family of this name came to New England in 1637, Thomas Paine of Wrentom if Suffolk, who was a weaver (?), age 50, along with this wife Elizabeth and six children (Thomas, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Dorothy, and others).
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions eighteen bearers of this last name:
1) Anthony Paine of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, recorded in 1638, married a woman named Rose
2) Arthur Paine of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a freeman in 165
3) James Paine of Newport, with wife Ann, had a daughter named Amy in 1660
4) Philip Paine of New Haven, who in 1679, married Mary, daughter of Captain John Nash, moved to Northampton and was a freeman in 1690, and may have had a son named Seth and a daughter named Mary
5) Robert Paine of Ipswich who was born in 1601, likely from Suffolk, England, who married Ann, daughter of John Whiting of Hadleigh, and was a freeman in 1641. He was a representative from 1647-1648 and had a sizeable estate and was treasure for Essex County. He later married Dorcas. He left sons named John and Robert, one who attended Harvard College.
6) Stephen Paine, Hingham, 1639, from Great Elingham, near Attleburgh, county Norfolk, who was a miller. He came to the New World aboard the Diligent with his wife Rose, three children, and four servant. He was a representative in 1641 and moved to Rehoboth in 1645. He later married Alice, widow of William Parker. He owned a very large estate of land.
7) Stephen Paine of Dedham, who in 1652, married Ann, daughter of Francis Chickering
8) Stephen Paine of Charlestown or Malden, a freeman in 1665, who married Elizabeth and had a daughter named Mary in 1659, and was among tything men in 1679 at Charlestown.
9) Thomas Paine of Salem, a weaver from Wrentham, Suffolk, England who came in 1637 at the age of 50, aboard the Mary Ann of Yarmouth, with his wife Elizabeth and six children (Mary, Thomas, Elizabeth, Dorothy, John, and Sarah who were born between 1611-1622). He was the son of Thomas and Catharine of Cooklie, near Halesworth. He also had sons named Peter (1617) and Nathaniel (1626). He died in 1640.
10) Thomas Paine of Yarmouth, who was a representative in 1639 and moved to Eastham where he was a representative in 1671. He had issue named Eleazer, Thomas, Joseph, Nicholas, Samuel, Elisa, John, James, Mary, and Dorcas.
11) Thomas Paine of Boston, who in 1659, married Hannah, daughter of Thomas Bray of New Haven, had a son named Thomas in 1665. He was the son of Thomas of London and was born in 1632.
12) Thomas Paine of Newtown, Long Island, 1656
13) Thomas Paine, York, swore allegiance in 1680.
14) Thomas Paine of Dover, 1659, who was a constable in 1687. His will was dated 1694. His wife was named Elizabeth. He had issue named Thomas, Jane, Elizabeth, Catharine, and Ann.
15) Thomas Paine of Newport, 1683, who was a captain of a privateer and was a founder of the Episcopal church in Newport.
16) Thomas Paine of Boston, who came from Jamaica. In 1665, he married Sarah, daughter of a John Winslow, and had a son with her named William who was born in 1669. He died in 1669.
17) William Paine of Ipswich came in the Increase in 1635 at the age of 37 with wife Ann and children Susan, William, John, Ann, and Daniel. He was a freeman in 1640 and lived in Watertown, MA. He had a large estate and later moved to Boston where he died in 1660.
18) William Paine of Salem, Massachusetts who was a shoemaker by trade who came in 1635 aboard the Abigail at the age of 15. He was with Elizabeth, which was either his wife or mother. He had a grant of land in 1650. He died around 1660.
A one Jasper Payne came to Pennsylvania in 1743.
In Canada, one of the earliest bearers of this last name was John B. Payne, who was born in Clonmel, Ireland and came to New Brunswick in 1784, where he served in the 17th Regiment Light Dragoons. In Australia, one of the first settlers with this surname was Henry Payne, a convict from Middlesex, England, who came aboard the Almorah in 1817, living in New South Wales (then a penal colony). In New Zealand, a one George Payne, age 29, came to Port Nicholson in 1840 aboard the Oriental, along with his wife Maria, age 22.
Early Americans Bearing the Payne Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains one entry for this surname:
1) Argent (?) a bend gules (?) bet in chief a lion’s head cabossed and in base an eagle’s leg couped à-la-guise holding a torteau. In 1866 in the wall of 14 Beacon St. covered with earth. I could not find it in 1914. Edward Payne lived near by. Granary Burying Ground, Boston. Heral. Jour., vol. 2, p. 134. Bridgman Pilgrims of Boston, p. 69. See Paine Geneal., 1881, p. 73, where the grave is mentioned as William’s, but another coat claimed for Wm. Paine.
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains two entries for this name:
1) William Payne of Virginia, Lynchburg, around 1630. Gules, a fesse between two lions passant argent. Crest: A lion’s gamb couped argent grasping a broken tilting lance, spear end pendent gules.
2) John Payne of Leedstown, Virginia, around 1630, bore the same arms as William of Lynchburg.
Matthew’s American Armoury (1907) and Bluebook contains two entries for this name:
1) WillIiam Payne or Payne of Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1635, son of William Paine, of Nowton, Suffolk, England. Arms: Argent, on a fesse engrailed gules, between three martlets sable, as many mascles or, all within a bordure engrailed of the second bezantee. Crest: A wolf’s head erased azure charged with five bezants.
2) Moses Paine of Braintree in New England, a gentleman, died 1643. Arms: Azure, on a bend gules three arrow-heads, between a lion’s head cabossed, and an eagle’s leg couped holding a torteau.
I have identified three Payne family mottoes:
1) Malo mori quam foedari (I would die rather than be disgraced)
2) Be just and fear not
3) Playsyr vaut Payn (something about worth the pain?)
We have 48 coats of arms for the Payne surname depicted here. These 48 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Payne Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Payne Family Crest)
1) Ralph Payne of Marylebone, county Middlesex and St. Christopher’s, West Indies, Quartering Carlisle, 1770, afterwards, 1795, Baron Lavington
2) Colonel William Payne, half-brother of Baton Lavington, co. York, London, and St. Kitts, 1813
3) Payne before Gallwey, 7 March 1814, Lieutenant-General Sir William, Baronet, of county York, 2 October 1882
4) Payne, late Row, of Withycombe Rawleigh, Rockbeare, and Broadelyst, county Devonshire, 1796
5) Payne to Elwes, native son of Elwes, of Stoke College, Stoke-next-Clare, county Suffolk, 1824
6) Henry Payne of The Newark, Leicester, inescutcheon of pretence for his wife Elizabeth, Towndrow, to son Henry T. Payne, 4 April 1826
There are hundreds of notable people with the Payne surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Thomas Paine (1737-1809) who was an American Founding Father and political theorist, born in Thetford, Norfolk, England who was known for his pamphlet Common Sense which popularized the cause of Independence through the Thirteen Colonies, 2) Scherrie Ann Payne (1944) who is an American singer from Detroit, Michigan who was in The Supremes from 1973-1977, 3) Sally Payne (1912-1999) who was an American actress that started in around 35 B-Western films in the 1940s and was born in Chicago, Illinois, 4) Nicolle Katherine Payne (1976) who was an American water polo player from California who won a silver medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics, 5) Marise Ann Payne (1964) who is an Australian politician that was a Liberal Party Senator for New South Wales and also the Minister for Defence starting in 2015, 6) Liam James Payne (1993) who is an English musician from the famous pop boy band One Direction, born in Wolverhampton, England, 7) Keith Payne (1933) who was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross for his service in the Vietnam War who was born in Ingham, Queensland, 8) John Payne (1871-1942) who was a New Zealand politician who was the New Zealand Parliament for Grey Lynn and was born in Manchester, England, 9) Saint John Payne (1532-1582) who was an English Catholic priest and martyr born in Petersborough, and 10) John Willett Payne (1752-1803) who was an officer in the Royal Navy who was a close friend and advisor to Prince George and served in the American Revolution and French Revolutionary Wars, as well as a Member of Parliament for Huntingdon.