This very interesting surname, one of the very earliest ever recorded anywhere in the world, is English, but of Olde French origins. It was first given as a nickname for a clever person, deriving from the pre 7th century word "engaingne", itself arguably from the Roman - Latin "ingania", and meaning "ingenuity". It was probably introduced into England by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion by William, Duke of Normandy, and is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of the year 1086. This book is the first true record of land ownership anywhere in the world. Early examples of the surname recording include Vitalis Engaine of Northamptonshire in the year 1130, and Ralph Ingaine of Cumbria in 1158. The modern surname has a variety of forms, and these include Gain, Gaine, Gains, Gaines and Gayne, and the name is also commorated in the village names of Colne Engaine and Gaynes Park, in the county of Essex, and in D'Engaines Farm, in Cambridgeshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Ingania of Huntingdon, in the Domesday Book of 1086. This was during the reign of King William 1st, Known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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