Kaine History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Kaine originally appeared in Gaelic as O Cathain.

Early Origins of the Kaine family

The surname Kaine was first found in Derry, where the name literally meant 'Cathan's Son.' "This name may be rendered 'warrior'(cath, 'a battle'). The O'Cathains, now O'Kanes, were of the race of Eoghan, who was son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, Monarch of Ireland, who died A.D. 406." [1]

Saint Cainner or Cannera (d. 530?), appears in the martyrology of Tamlacht and other ancient lists of Irish saints on 28 Jan. "According to Colgan, she was born of noble parents in the district of Bentraighe (Bantry) in South Munster. " [2]

We would be remiss if we did not mention the English and Welsh origins of the name. In England, Yorkshire was a popular location for the family. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Johannes Cayne, Kirkby Overblow; and Johannes Cayne, Knaresborough. [3]

"Mauritius de Cadomo held lands in Barony, Devonshire, in 1083. William de Cadomo occurs in Norfolk, Walter de Cadomo in Norfolk, holding great estates, 1086. Renebald de Caen occurs in 1130 (Rot. Pip.). The family of De Caen, Caan, &c., is often mentioned later. In Normandy it occurs in the 12th cent. very frequently." [4]

In Wales, "Rhys Cain (16th cent.), was a Welsh poet of the latter part of the sixteenth century, born at Trawsfynydd in Merionethshire, a village on the river Cain, whence he took his surname." [2]

Early History of the Kaine family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kaine research. Another 147 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1196 and 1672 are included under the topic Early Kaine History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kaine Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Kaine were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Cain, Caine, Kane, Kain, Cahan, O'Cahan, Kean, Keane, O'Keane, Ceane, Cean, Kahan, O'Kean, O'Kane, O'Kaine, Kaine, Keann, Cainn, Cainne, Kainn, Cahann, O'Cain and many more.

Early Notables of the Kaine family (pre 1700)

Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kaine Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Kaine migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Kaine family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Kaine Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Kath Kaine, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [5]
Kaine Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mikel Kaine, aged 25, who landed in Rhode Island in 1812 [5]
  • Daniel Kaine, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1860 [5]

Canada Kaine migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kaine Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • John Kaine, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749

Contemporary Notables of the name Kaine (post 1700) +

  • Timothy Michael "Tim" Kaine (b. 1958), American politician, junior United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia (2013), 70th Governor of Virginia (1006 to 2010), Mayor of Richmond, Virginia (1998 to 2001)
  • John Charles Kaine (1854-1923), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec for Québec-Ouest (1904-1915)
  • Les Kaine (b. 1936), former Australian rules footballer
  • Trevor Thomas Kaine (1928-2008), Australian politician, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (1989 to 1991)
  • Carmel Kaine (1937-2013), Australian classical violinist, member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for ten years, professor and Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music
  • Thomas Kaine Scallen (1925-2015), American businessman, the first owner of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks

Lady of the Lake
  • Miss Nancy Kaine (b. 1830), Irish traveller from Strabane, Northern Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and she died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Elenor Kaine (b. 1807), Irish traveller from Strabane, Northern Ireland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and she died in the sinking


  1. ^ Moore, A.W., Manx Names. London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1906. Print
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  5. ^ 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)


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