Show ContentsGaines History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gaines family

The surname Gaines 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 Gaines family

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

Gaines Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gaines family name include 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 Gaines family (pre 1700)

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

Gaines Ranking

In the United States, the name Gaines is the 548th most popular surname with an estimated 52,227 people with that name. [5]

United States Gaines migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Gaines family to immigrate North America:

Gaines Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Gaines, who settled in Maryland in 1634
  • Thomas Gaines, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [6]
  • Bernard Gaines, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • David Gaines who arrived in Nevis in 1663
  • Tho Gaines, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gaines Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Martha Gaines, who arrived in Virginia in 1700 [6]
  • John Gaines, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [6]
  • William Gaines, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [6]
  • James Gaines, who arrived in Virginia in 1745 [6]
Gaines Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W. H. Gaines, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1822
  • William B P Gaines, who landed in Texas in 1835 [6]
  • Thomson C Gaines, who landed in Texas in 1835 [6]
  • W M Gaines, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • Mrs. L Gaines, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gaines migration to Australia +

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

Gaines Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Gaines, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Aden" in 1849 [7]
  • Catherine Gaines, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Velocity"

Contemporary Notables of the name Gaines (post 1700) +

  • Gary Gaines (1949-2022), American head football coach of the 1988 Permian High School football team, inspiration for the H. G. Bissinger book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream, and the 2004 motion picture Friday Night Lights starring Billy Bob Thornton
  • Grady Gaines (1934-2021), American electric blues, Texas blues and jazz blues tenor saxophonist
  • David "Smokey" Gaines (1942-2020), American basketball player and coach who played professionally for three games for the Kentucky Colonels during the 1967-68 after a four-year stint with the Harlem Globetrotters
  • William Chester Gaines (1933-2016), American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune
  • LaDonna Adrian Gaines (1948-2012), known by the stage name Donna Summer, American five-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, the "The Queen of Disco"
  • William "Bill" Maxwell Gaines (1922-1992), American publisher and co-editor of EC Comics
  • Edmund Pendleton Gaines (1777-1849), United States army officer, eponym of Fort Gaines, Alabama and the CSS Gaines
  • Ernest James Gaines (b. 1933), award-winning American novelist and short story writer
  • Steven Earl Gaines (1949-1977), American musician most well-known as a guitarist and songwriter for southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • George Gaines (1933-1986), American set decorator with two Academy Awards and an additional two nominations
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Gaines +

  • A Compilation of Gaines Family Data, With Special Emphasis on the Lineage of William And Isabella (Pendleton) Gaines by Calvin E. Sutherd.
  • Tinsley et al: The Ancestry of My Four Honored Grandparents, William Julian Tinsley, Georgia Ann Gaines, William Henry Clarke, Jennie Elizabeth Lavendar, Including the Families of Ballard by William Elson Tinsley.

  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.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Aden from London via Plymouth Adealide Arriving September 12th 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook