Gayn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gayn family

The surname Gayn 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 Gayn family

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

Gayn Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Gayn are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Gayn 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 Gayn family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Gayn family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Gayn, or a variant listed above: Bernard Gaines who arrived in Virginia in 1654; Roger Gain who settled in Virginia in 1658; David Gaines who arrived in Nevis in 1663; Patrick Gain who settled in Missouri in 1840.



  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.


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