The surname of PAYNE was derived from the Old English word 'payn' a name given to a villager or rustic. The name was a great favourite font name in the 12th and 13th centuries. A locational name usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The original bearer would take his name from the village, town or the area where he dwelt. This name would identify his whole family, and would follow them wherever they moved Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage that it would add to their status. Early records of the name mention PAGAN (without surname) who was documented in the year 1085, County Essex, and Edmund filius Pagen was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Paganus de Vilers, 1109, County Lincolnshire. Pagan de Schenefeld was documented during the reign of Henry II (1154-1189). Thomas Payn of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). William Payne of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. A certain Thomas Payne, who was a Freeman of the Plymouth Colony in 1639, was the founder of a large American family which included Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814) one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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