Select Payne Surname Genealogy

Here are some Payne stories and accounts over the years:

Payne as Pagan

Brooke  Payne in his 1996 book The Paynes of Virginia quoted a number of older sources in giving the name Payne Norman and pagan origins:

"The Paynes of England are said to be of Norman origin and are believed to be descended from men who, at the time that Rollo became a Christian in 912 AD, refused to be baptized and hence were distinguished by the name " paganus" or " le payen."  The name was thus applied as a soubriquet and does not connote consanquinity."

Paynes in Suffolk

The family of Sir Thomas Payne removed themselves from Market Bosworth in Leicestershire to Suffolk, near Bury St. Edmunds where they became the bailiffs of Hengrave for the Duke of Buckingham.

Albert W. Paine in his 1881 book Paine Genealogy - Ipswich Branch related the following:

"William Payne was a man of much note and importance in his day, being in the service of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, as bailiff for his manor at Hengrave.  In 1521 the Duke, having been convicted of conspiring against King Henry VIII, was put to death.  The office thus becoming vacant by the death of the Duke, Payne lost his place as deputy and was obliged to retire to private life.  The Duke's successor, however, appointed Payneís son Henry to the office held by his father."

Henry Payne profited from Henry VIIIís dissolution of the monasteries and acquired the manor of Nowton and other properties belonging to the dissolved monastery of St. Edmund.

Payne's Armory of Jersey

Payne's Armory of Jersey was published in 1859 by J. Bertrand Payne.  The book contains many family trees, coats of arms, information on families' origins, and the part prominent members have played in the history of the island.

The genealogical outfit GENUKI has commented that the work is ďnot as accurate as it could have been.  The publisher relied on submissions from the families represented who paid to appear."  A major failing was that Payne adopted a strange policy of anglicizing virtually all personal names, using John for Jean, Mary for Marie, Philip for Philippe, etc. at a time when Jersey was a French-speaking island and virtually every child was baptized with a French name.

Payne Family Linkages Through DNA

Prior to 1650, several families bearing the surname Payne settled in the English colonies.  DNA test results have suggested that the English Payne families of Suffolk, Huntingdonshire and Jersey in the Channel Islands, were members of one family. 

Members of the Suffolk branch settled in Massachusetts, represented by William and Hannah Paine.  William was known to have had dealings on Virginia's Eastern Shore with friends and kinsmen of the Payne family of Westmoreland county, Virginia.  Sir Robert Payne, MP for Huntingdonshire in the early 1600ís, is believed to have been the father of John Payne the immigrant there.  Members of the Jersey Payn family settled at St. Kitt's around the year 1654.  Other members of this Jersey family settled in Virginia and Maryland.  In Virginia, the brothers Ralph and Thomas Payne settled on the Northern Neck between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers where they were also associated with the family of John Payne. 

Captain Jack Payne and Rene Payne

There was said to have been a family connection between the Jersey Paynes, then resident in Bedfordshire, and the Paynes in Northamptonshire.  This connection came to light when Captain Jack Payne, acting for the Prince of Wales in the matter of his marriage to Mrs. Fitzherbert, approached Rene Payne, a banker from Northamptonshire, to intervene in this matter.  Reports at the time suggested a kinship between the two Payne families.

One source has it that George Payne of the Northamptonshire branch became the guardian of Little George  Payne who was in fact the illegitimate son of the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Fitzherbert. 

Thomas Paine of Thetford

In the church register of Euston parish near Thetford occurs this entry:

"1734.  Joseph Pain and Frances Cocke were married June 20th."


These were the parents of Thomas Paine.  The rector of Euston church has said that the name written was clearly Pain.  But in the Thetford town records of that time it was officially entered as Paine.  Both Paine and Cocke were in fact notable name in Norfolk history at that time.

Paynes and Payne House of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland

The Payne House in Harbour Grace was built in 1856 by John and Rachel Payne and, because it survived the fire of 1944 which destroyed much of the downtown area and because it remained essentially unaltered, it is a very good representative of its period.  With its original twelve-pane windows, door and window surrounds, it is the best preserved of a row of houses all dating from about the same time.

Hutchinson's Trade Directory of 1864 showed a number of Paynes living in Harbour Grace at that time:

  • George Payne, revenue boat
  • John Payne, manager of works
  • John Payne, fisherman
  • Nicholas Payne, storekeeper
  • Nicholas Payne, overseer of oil works
  • Robert Payne, fisherman
  • William Payne, fisherman.

Paynes in Newfoundland Today

Two years ago we spent the summer in the Canadian Maritimes including 22 days in Newfoundland.  I had read the area was settled by Paynes.

We stopped in a very small town of Parsons Pond, Newfoundland (about 300 people) and noticed a Payne's Grocery and Payne's Hardware.  At the grocery we were pointed to a pub where we met many Paynes.  We found everyone in the area was either a Payne or had Payne blood. 

Later in Newfoundland we stopped in another very small town and I looked at their phone directory.   It was about 20 pages thick and the Payne listing took four of those pages.  I talked to the woman who owned the campground where we were staying and she was a Payne.  She told me to take a boat trip to the next town because everyone there was a Payne. 

It was an interesting trip.  I have no idea how many Paynes live in Newfoundland, but I'm sure it is in the thousands.


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