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Wayne Coat of Arms / Wayne Family Crest

Wayne Coat of Arms / Wayne Family Crest

The surname of WAYNE was an occupational name 'the wainwright' a maker of wagons'. The name was derived from the Old English word 'waegn'. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identity individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Early records of the name mention John Richard Wain, 1319 County Essex. John Attewayne, 1327 County Surrey. Alan le Waynwright of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. Anthony Wayne, known as 'mad Anthony' was born in Pennsylvania in 1745. In 1776 he raised a volunteer regiment, and in Canada covered the retreat of the provincial forces at Three Rivers. He commanded at Ticonderoga until 1777, when he joined Washington in New Jersey. He bravely fought at Brandywine in 1777, led the attack at Germantown; captured supplies for the army at Valley Forge; carried Stony Point and saved Layfayette in Virginia in 1781. In 1793 he led an expedition against the Indians. He died in 1796. The name is also spelt Wayn and Wain.


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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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