Ready to discover your family story?
Simply start with yourself and we'll do the searching for you.
English (mainly Kent and Sussex): from the Middle English personal name Pain(e), Payn(e) (Old French Paien, from Latin Paganus), introduced to Britain by the Normans. The Latin name is a derivative of pagus ‘outlying village’, and meant at first a person who lived in the country (as opposed to Urbanus ‘city dweller’), then a civilian as opposed to a soldier, and eventually a heathen (one not enrolled in the army of Christ). This remained a popular name throughout the Middle Ages, but it died out in the 16th century.