Show ContentsTremaine History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Tremaine family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Tremaine family originally lived in Cornwall, at the manor of Tremayne, in the Parish of St. Martin. It comes from the Cornish words "tre," meaning settlement and "men," meaning stone. [1] "Its name is of Cornish extraction, signifying the stone town, the river, or, passage town." [2]

Early Origins of the Tremaine family

The surname Tremaine was first found in Cornwall at Tremaine (Tremayne) which dates back to c. 1230, when it was listed at that time with its Cornish spelling of Treman. [1]

The family originally held the manor of Tremayne in the Parish of St. Martin on the banks of Helford-Haven. Today, Tremayne is a hamlet in the parish of St Martin in Meneage.

"The barton of Tremayne, which originally gave its name to the Tremaynes, who had their seat here, was carried by an heiress of an elder branch, in marriage to the Trethurfes." [2]

The first ancestor of the family was Perys de Tremayne of Tremayne who lived in the reign of Edward III and assumed the local name. [3] [4]

"Towards the conclusion of Elizabeth's reign, Heligan was purchased by Sampson Tremayne, Esq. ancestor of the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, the present proprietor. This much respected family, are said to have descended from ancestors called Peres, who settling at Tremayne in the parish of St. Martin in Meneage, took the name of that barton early in the fourteenth century, from which time that of Peres was discontinued. A grandson of the first Tremayne, marrying an heiress of Collacombe in Devonshire, removed thither. But when Heligan was purchased by Sampson Tremayne, Esq. this branch of that family removed to this place, in which they have ever since continued. Heligan is now the seat of the Rev. H. H. Tremayne, and of his son John Hearle Tremayne, Esq. one of the members for the county, who married a daughter of Sir William Lemon, bart. The Tremaynes of Heligan have formed alliances in their descent, with the families of Clotworthy, Hawkins, Hearle, and several others of high respectability. Heligan House, as it stood till lately, was built by Sir John Tremayne, serjeant at law, about the year 1692; but of late years it has been so enlarged and improved by its present possessor, as to assume the appearance of a splendid mansion. It is situated on a pleasing eminence, having a southern aspect, which commands a lovely vale leading to Mevagissey; some parts of which may be seen from its windows, and opening a delightful sea prospect to the view." [2]

Early History of the Tremaine family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tremaine research. Another 176 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1485, 1603, 1659, 1692, 1647, 1694, 1485, 1487, 1582, 1366, 1553, 1554 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Tremaine History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tremaine Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Tremayne, Tremain, Tremayn, Tremaine and others.

Early Notables of the Tremaine family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Tremayne (of Collacombe), High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1485; and John Tremayne (of Tremayne), High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1487. Edmund Tremayne (d. 1582), was Clerk of the Privy Council, was second son of Thomas Tremayne of Collacombe, Lamerton, Devonshire, where the Devonshire branch of this old Cornish family had been established since 1366. "Edmund entered the service of Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, in the autumn of 1553, but was committed to the...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tremaine Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tremaine Ranking

In the United States, the name Tremaine is the 18,412nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Tremaine migration to the United States +

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Tremaine:

Tremaine Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Tremaine, who landed in New London, Connecticut in 1666 [6]

Australia Tremaine migration to Australia +

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

Tremaine Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Tremaine, (b. 1818), aged 23, Cornish carpenter travelling aboard the ship "William Jardine" arriving in Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd December 1841 [7]
  • Mrs. Diana Tremaine, (b. 1822), aged 19, Cornish dressmaker travelling aboard the ship "William Jardine" arriving in Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia on 23rd December 1841 [7]
  • Mr. Richard Tremaine, (b. 1817), aged 24, Cornish carpenter, from St. Teath, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "William Jardine" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 23rd December 1841 [8]
  • Mrs. Diana Tremaine, (b. 1822), aged 19, Cornish dressmaker, from St. Teath, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "William Jardine" arriving in New South Wales, Australia on 23rd December 1841 [8]
  • William Tremaine, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1848 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tremaine (post 1700) +

  • Emily Tremaine, American actress, known for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Self/less (2015) and Obvious Child (2014)
  • Frederick Orlin Tremaine (1899-1956), American science fiction and other magazine editor and writer
  • Morris Sawyer Tremaine (1871-1941), American businessman and politician, New York State Comptroller
  • Professor Marilyn Mantei Tremaine, American computer scientist, an expert in human-computer interaction
  • Jeffery James "Jeff" Tremaine (b. 1966), American film and television producer/director, known for his work on Bad Grandpa (2013), Jackass: The Movie (2002), Jackass Number Two (2006) and Jackass (2000)
  • Scott Duncan Tremaine (b. 1950), Canadian-born astrophysicist, Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada and the National Academy of Sciences
  • Terrence Cecil Tremaine (b. 1948), Canadian founder and national director of the National-Socialist Party of Canada
  • Tremaine Stewart (1988-2021), Jamaican footballer forward/winger for the Jamaica National Team (2012-2013)
  • Tremaine Fowlkes (b. 1976), American NBA basketball player

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, May 30). Ships' Passenger Lists of Arrivals in New South Wales on (1828 - 1842, 1848 - 1849) [PDF]. Retrieved from
  8. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAVID MALCOLM - EMIGRANT SHIP - 1848. Retrieved from on Facebook