The surname of WAIN 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. 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. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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