Before we all became literate, and before we started worrying about spelling, a person's name was written more or less as it sounded. PAIN and PAYNE sound the same so it depended on who was writing it down how our family name was spelt.

When we moved from Somerset to Australia, we decided to standardize the spelling of our family name and it became PAYNE. We have not found any other spelling used in Australia.

Given Names
For some reason given names, unless unusual, were consistently spelt the same way. However, we Paynes tend to use and re-use the same given names both over the generations, within the same generation and within the same family. One family had 3 living Mary Anns in it - mother and 2 daughters!! All, we have found, had "pet" names to distinguish one from the other.

Often also, we Paynes gave our children 3 given names and in everyday life used the 3rd or even a "pet" name - an example is Mary Ann Matilda, called Polly, Payne who married Matthew McGann.

The Origins of the Payne Name

The explanations of the origin or history of our family name are many and varied.  They range from "it is a patronymic, derived originally from Hugh de Payen, first Grand Master of the Knights Templar in about 1100" to "The source of the name can be traced to the Old English word "paien", which was derived from the Latin word "paganus" meaning "rustic or countryman". It

Later paganus also came to mean "heathen". The surname was often given to children whose baptism was delayed or, indeed, to adults whose religious zeal was not what people thought it should have been.

Whatever version you like, we are a unique and diverse group of people who carry valiance, determination and resilience in our viens. 

Click here for links to alternate origins for our family name.



Payne Family Naming