Gaines History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gaines family

The surname Gaines was first found in Huntingdonshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, 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. 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.

Important Dates for 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 1124, 1299, 1346, 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 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 [2]
  • Bernard Gaines who arrived in Virginia in 1654
  • Bernard Gaines, who settled in Virginia in 1654
  • David Gaines who arrived in Nevis in 1663
  • ... (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 [2]
  • John Gaines, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [2]
  • William Gaines, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [2]
  • James Gaines, who arrived in Virginia in 1745 [2]
Gaines Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W. H. Gaines, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1822
  • Thomson C Gaines, who landed in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • William B P Gaines, who landed in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • W M Gaines, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • Mrs. L Gaines, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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 [3]
  • 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)

  • 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
  • David "Smokey" Gaines (b. 1942), retired American professional basketball player and coach
  • Cassie LaRue Gaines (1948-1977), American singer
  • Patrick Gaines Goode (1798-1862), American politician, Representative from Ohio 3rd District, 1837-43; Common Pleas Court Judge in Ohio, 1844-51 [4]

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Aden from London via Plymouth Adealide Arriving September 12th 1849. Retrieved from
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from
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