Show ContentsGain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gain family

The surname Gain was first found in Huntingdonshire where conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Redinger held by " "Richard d'Engaine who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. Richard was of Engen near Boulogne and accompanied the Conqueror at Hastings. Vitalis, his son, married the daughter of the Earl of Oxford, Alberic de Ver. It is apparent that the main line of the family were one of the rebellious barons for the next we hear is of Vitalis and Richard in Northumberland in 1130. [1]

Ralph Engaine held estates in Cumberland in 1158. Some lines of the family continued in Gloucestershire, Suffolk and Devon where Richard Ingayn held in 1310. [2]

William Ingania, Inganie was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as holding lands in Northumberland and Huntingdonshire. [3]

Ralph Engaigne was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Cumberland in 1158; William de Engain in the Feet of Fines for Huntingdonshire in 1208; Richard Ingan in Gloucestershire in 1228; John en Gayne alias den Gayne in Suffolk in 1271; John le Gayne in Yorkshire in 1275; William Denganye,-de Enganne in the Hundredorum Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1279; and Richard Ingayn in Devon in 1310. The family name is only rarely spelled de Engaine. [1]

"Richard Engaine, Chief Engineer to the Conqueror, derived his name from his office, and founded the baronial House of Engaine. Joane, daughter and heiress of John D'Engaine, a descendant of the Norman warrior, married in 1381, Sir Baldwin St. George, Knt. of Hatley, M.P. for Cambridgeshire, and from this alliance derived the St. Georges, the distinguished Kings of Arms, as well as the noble family of St. George of Hatley St. George, and its flourishing branch, planted in Ireland, from which spring the St. Georges, of Wood Park, County Armagh, and Woodsgift, county Kilkenny." [4]

Early History of the Gain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gain research. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1299, 1124, 1346, 1347, 1347 and 1380 are included under the topic Early Gain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gain Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Engain, Gain, Gayn, Gaines, Ingain, Engham, Engaine, D'Engain, D'Engayne, Engame, Engam, Gayne, Gayn, Gaynes, Angain, Gayney, Dengaine, Dengayne, Dangain, D'Angain, Gagne, Ingen and many more.

Early Notables of the Gain family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gain Ranking

In the United States, the name Gain is the 12,628th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in France, the name Gain is ranked the 6,789th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [6]

United States Gain migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gain name or one of its variants:

Gain Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Roger Gain, who landed in Virginia in 1658 [7]
Gain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Gain who settled in Missouri in 1840
  • Patrick Gain, aged 27, who arrived in Missouri in 1840 [7]
  • William Gain, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857 [7]
  • Christian Gain, who landed in St Clair County, IL in 1859 [7]
  • Thomas Gain who settled in Philadelphia in 1876

Canada Gain migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gain Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Albert Gain who arrived in Ontario, Canada in 1871

Australia Gain migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gain Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gain, British convict who was convicted in Lancashire, England for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. James Gain, English seaman who was convicted in Sussex, England for life, transported aboard the "Fame" on 9th October 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. William Gain, English convict who was convicted in Lewes, Sussex, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [10]
  • Bridget Gain, aged 34, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Caucasian" [11]

New Zealand Gain migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Gain Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Gain, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "John Phillips" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand in April 1852 [12]
  • John Gain, aged 22, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867

Contemporary Notables of the name Gain (post 1700) +

  • Robert "Bob" Gain (1929-2016), American NFL and CFL football player, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980
  • Douglas Dean Gain, American radiologist in the United States
  • Brigadier-General Joseph-Armand-Victor Gain (1878-1943), French General Officer Commanding Artillery, 2nd Military Region (1940) [13]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 27th September 2022).
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022).
  11. South Australian Register Tuesday 26 April 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caucasian 1857. Retrieved
  12. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  13. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 5) Joseph-Armand-Victor Gain. Retrieved from on Facebook