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Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

This MAYNE study has a long but undistinguished history! It was first undertaken in about 1980, but force of circumstances then meant that the progress made was very slow. Even after the registered owner joined the Guild in 1987 things failed to improve.

However in 2003, as a result of focussing primarily on the earliest records up to the end of the 19th century, a body of data was accumulated which, on analysis, allowed us to identify the principal families of the MAYNE name in Ireland, England and Scotland. It was decided to expand this material as a subsidiary study to produce a series of illustrated pedigrees of these family lines. They were continued into the 20th century where linking information existed. As these pedigrees mainly covered the period when emigration to the New World was at its height and the material could be of use to, among others, those abroad whose family origins are in the British Isles, the results of this study were circulated widely on CD. John Colloff, the Guild librarian, generously accepted it as €˜a valued addition to the library.

Public access to this study material is on open view as a collection of seven parts at . This includes evidence of unconfirmed links that may exist between the various family groups who are the subject of the study, and the names of the 20 collaborators from all over the world who helped compile it.

Variant names

Main, Maine, Mains, Maynes, Mayney.
(The Irish name €˜McManus€™ is the Anglicised form of the Gaelic name Mac Maghnuis which is a patronymic of €˜Magnus€™. McManus therefore has the variant €˜Mayne(s)€™, however €˜McManus€™ is not included in this study.)

Name origin

It is an Anglo-Norman name with alternative derivations:

* It comes from the Continental Germanic personal name €˜Maino€™ or €˜Meino€™ meaning strength or might.
* A regional name for someone from the French province of Maine.
* Nickname for a large man, from Anglo-Norman-French €˜Magne€™ or €˜Maine€™ meaning great or tall, Latin €˜magnus€™.
* Nickname for someone with a deformed or missing hand, from Old French €˜Main€™ meaning hand, Latin €˜manus€™.

Many of the Arms associated with the name Mayne have dexter (right) hands displayed on the shield, often on a bend, and sometimes a single hand is part of the crest; €“ an example is shown here

Historical occurrences of the name

Some of the historical events of which Maynes have been a part are described in the articles which are included in the study at the end of some family entries. The book €˜*Soldiers, Saints and Scallywags*€™, which was written to accompany the Mayne study, also includes many descriptions of these events. It can be read in full here.


Families are listed according to the area from which they originated: Ireland (two websites), Buckinghamshire, Kent, Scotland, Devonshire, and Yorkshire. The data for each family line appears in the following order :-

DESCENDANT PEDIGREE with illustrated notes on individuals of the family.
INDEX of individuals in the pedigree.
SOURCES. List of the main research sources used.
ARTICLES about certain characters and the historical events in which they took part.

This data can all be found at the Mayne ONS website at .

A full version of the Mayne ONS is archived at . A redacted version is archived on the Guild's Off-Line Library.


We have a link to a MAIN/MAYNE worldwide DNA project, which has been running for more than ten years, at where you can sign up for a DNA test (males of the name only).