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Beginners => Family History Beginners Board => Topic started by: N.Demaine92 on Saturday 19 May 18 16:47 BST (UK)

Title: Demaine, france?
Post by: N.Demaine92 on Saturday 19 May 18 16:47 BST (UK)
Hello

I'm pretty certain that my surname is of french origin. There's different spellings, probably through the years it's changed. I know my uncle spells it De maine, but there's also dumaine, or deMaine or demayne. I think mostly demaine. I've gone pretty far back in the family tree. I'm pretty sure that somewhere in the family tree, someone has come over from france. It's not an english surname. I'd love to know if anyone has any information on demaine's living in france or emigrating to england in the 17th century or before.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: Old Bristolian on Saturday 19 May 18 16:54 BST (UK)
I would image it derives from the province of Maine (de Maine - of Maine), capital Le Mans. It was held by the Kings of England from 1150s to c1210, and again from c1420-50, and I suppose quite a few locals my have moved to England at one time or another. It would be similar to the surnames Fleming (Flanders) or Gascoigne (Gascony)
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: N.Demaine92 on Saturday 19 May 18 17:05 BST (UK)
Hi,

Thank you for replying.
yes i've read before that the surname demaine was first found in maine, probbably spelt De Maine.
I've tried to find any information on people emigrating to england, but it's difficult especially in the early 1600s or before.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: philipsearching on Sunday 20 May 18 16:21 BST (UK)
Could you let us know who, when and where your earliest DeMaine ancestors show up in the UK and, if known, what occupations the family had.

Two thoughts spring to mind:
Huguenot refugees after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 (many silk weavers around Spitalfields, London)
Skilled workers (Norwich weavers in Tudor times and earlier, ceramics experts etc.)

Philip
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: N.Demaine92 on Sunday 20 May 18 16:27 BST (UK)
Hi philip

I've got back to 1669 and this demaine was born in pateley bridge, yorkshire. Before him i don't know. I have no idea of anyone coming over to england, but they must have. They could of settled anywhere in england but i don't know, i wish i did.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Sunday 20 May 18 17:06 BST (UK)
In his Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames, George Redmonds notes that the surname has been associated with the Skipton area for about 450 years: the earliest record he gives is from 1576, and there are earlier records from which it is absent.

He refers to the research of Richard McKinley (English Surnames Series, Vol.4 The Surnames of Lancashire), who had found examples in Lancashire in the 13th & 14th centuries. In Redmonds' opinion, McKinley solved the origin in identifying Walter le Demand as Walter Demester, where Demester is a northern English term for a judge (still used in the Isle of Man). Redmonds gives further examples, with variant spellings, from Co. Durham.

Redmonds' book is quite expensive, but very comprehensive; you might find a copy in a public library or a family history centre's research room (probably more likely in Yorkshire). I haven't come across McKinley's work, but presumably similar kinds of library might have a copy (in Lancashire).
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: philipsearching on Sunday 20 May 18 17:25 BST (UK)
Hi philip

I've got back to 1669 and this demaine was born in pateley bridge, yorkshire. Before him i don't know. I have no idea of anyone coming over to england, but they must have. They could of settled anywhere in england but i don't know, i wish i did.

In his Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames, George Redmonds notes that the surname has been associated with the Skipton area for about 450 years: the earliest record he gives is from 1576, and there are earlier records from which it is absent.

He refers to the research of Richard McKinley (English Surnames Series, Vol.4 The Surnames of Lancashire), who had found examples in Lancashire in the 13th & 14th centuries.

arthurk - what a great find.

N.Demaine92 - what were the name, parents' names, and baptism date of your Pately Bridge ancestor?

For the two generations in and after the English Civil War there was massive upheaval, so if your 1669 ancestor's parents and grandparents were involved they may not have been born in Yorkshire - it's a fascinating period of history but can be difficult to track individual soldiers.

(the 1669 date knocks out my Huguenot idea  :( )
Philip


Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: N.Demaine92 on Sunday 20 May 18 19:33 BST (UK)
Hi philip.

He was born in 1669 or it could be 1679  in pately bridge. He was william demaine but also known as gulielmi demaine.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Sunday 20 May 18 20:30 BST (UK)
There's already a topic where William's missing baptism etc has been discussed - http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=793369.0

If there are any more thoughts about that it would be better to post them there, and restrict this topic to the origins of the surname.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: iluleah on Sunday 20 May 18 21:13 BST (UK)
I am assuming you know how surnames came into being?

They were chosen just the same as given names are from the language heard, spoken or which influenced the person taking it. At the time of  taking surnames ( for taxation purposes) Latin, French and English was spoken in the UK so thousands of people took words from  the French language( or Latin or English) and used it as their surname, it doesn't mean they or their ancestry was French.

One of my maternal lines is Dalby, clearly from a French word, yet I know via record research the person who chose it, changed his name from Seagrave ( another French word) and prior to that used no surname and from land records the land was passed from father to son, none used a surname and they were English born/bred.... use of French names suited a purpose for my ancestors and I am sure for many thousands of others who had no French ancestry at all
 
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Monday 21 May 18 10:55 BST (UK)
One of my maternal lines is Dalby, clearly from a French word, yet I know via record research the person who chose it, changed his name from Seagrave ( another French word) and prior to that used no surname and from land records the land was passed from father to son, none used a surname and they were English born/bred.... use of French names suited a purpose for my ancestors and I am sure for many thousands of others who had no French ancestry at all

I'm a bit puzzled as to how you reach the conclusion that these names are of French origin, and overlook the fact that many English surnames derive from place names.

In fact the usual derivation given for both Dalby and Seagrave is that they come from villages of those names: this could typically happen if someone moved to a new village, so "John from Dalby" would become "John Dalby".

There are variants of the place name Dalby in Yorkshire (Low Dalby, near Pickering) and Leicestershire (Old, Great and Little, all near Melton Mowbray). Seagrave is also in Leicestershire, between Melton Mowbray and Loughborough.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: iluleah on Monday 21 May 18 11:14 BST (UK)
Quote
I'm a bit puzzled as to how you reach the conclusion that these names are of French origin, and overlook the fact that many English surnames derive from place names.

Where do you think these villages got their names from in the first place?
D'Alby and De Segrave is how they started life 1000yrs ago, French words taken in England from the Norman French language spoken to name villages which in turn when people took surnames it was often as you state from where they lived  or owned land eg ' John from Dalby'
Names do not tell you where someones ancestry is from, at best it is a clue to the language the word came from and words/names changed over time to fit the place/time/people.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: Vance Mead on Monday 21 May 18 12:07 BST (UK)
The name Dalby would have a Scandinavian origin, particularly in the northeastern counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Dal meaning valley, by meaning farm or settlement.

Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Monday 21 May 18 13:41 BST (UK)
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of places down the east side of England with names of Scandinavian origin ending in -by. I find it hard to accept the suggestion that the name of any of the Dalbys should have a radically different origin from the many other nearby places with -by names.

Seagrave, I believe, is a name with Old English origins. It's in the Domesday Book as either Segrave or Setgrave, and is thought to refer to a grove near a pit or pool ('seath'), or near a pen ('set').
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: iluleah on Monday 21 May 18 15:12 BST (UK)
The name Dalby would have a Scandinavian origin, particularly in the northeastern counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Dal meaning valley, by meaning farm or settlement.

Yes, the word was used during Danelaw, not in that area, however the same or similar words are often used in different languages and developed over time into the words we now use... so Dalby could have developed  from a number of words from various languages, such as Scandinavian, Irish, Hebrew, French the example I gave is my knowledge and research of my ancestry, history of the area, when the name was first used for a place and so where the WORD was likely to have come from ...which is French Norman and after the Norman was given that land whose name ( de Albi/d'alby)used to name the 'village' so of Albi in France.

Not sure why you think it important as they are all words from 'language origins' word history/etymology is not FH research
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Monday 21 May 18 15:59 BST (UK)
I think the point was that, as seems to have happened with the OP's Demaine, there has sometimes been a tendency to try to glamorise a surname by claiming a French origin (such as Norman French, or later Huguenot) simply on the basis that it sounds or looks French, when the evidence points to something else.

Redmonds has been studying and writing on Yorkshire surnames for years, and I think he knows his stuff. I don't know anything about McKinley, but Redmonds' endorsement of his explanation for Demaine is probably significant.

In the case of the surnames Dalby and Seagrave, there are plausible explanations for their origins which don't involve French ancestry, but they do involve a likely origin in villages whose names aren't French either.

I agree that there could feasibly be a Norman-French surname d'Albi (though I have yet to find it), but I think it was more usual for the Norman overlords to append their surname to an existing place name (eg Stanton Harcourt), rather than just replace the existing name with their surname.

I'm sure you're also aware that since official records were written in French or Latin, a reference to, say, 'John de Segrave' is not evidence of him being of French origin, simply that he was John from ('de') Se(a)grave.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: iluleah on Monday 21 May 18 16:07 BST (UK)
As said

Quote
Not sure why you think it important as they are all words from 'language origins' word history/etymology is not FH research

I choose not to comment on what others think/do or if a word used for a surname is 'glamorous' or not
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Monday 21 May 18 16:25 BST (UK)
Not sure why you think it important as they are all words from 'language origins' word history/etymology is not FH research

Except that this thread wasn't about FH research but about the origins of a surname, and that can only be properly answered with reference to etymology.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: iluleah on Monday 21 May 18 16:56 BST (UK)
Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.... to the original poster, research and prove your ancestry as that is the ONLY way you will know where they came from, who they were........... and have fun with word history as it 'means' NOTHING as far as ancestry research is concerned unless you can find records to prove migration
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: philipsearching on Tuesday 22 May 18 03:59 BST (UK)
Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.... to the original poster, research and prove your ancestry as that is the ONLY way you will know where they came from, who they were........... and have fun with word history as it 'means' NOTHING as far as ancestry research is concerned unless you can find records to prove migration

Steady on!  I tend to agree with your point, but I would put it more calmly.

Surnames can be clues as to possible origins of a family, but without tracking back to prove the line they are not to be taken as evidence.

I have a TREWARTHA line.  Have I proved they came from Cornwall?  Yes - by BMDs and parish registers.
I have a LARCHER line.  Have I proved they came from France?  Yes - by BMDs and PRs.
I have an O'CONNELL line.  Have I proved they came from Ireland?  No - it's a clue, but I haven't proved it.
I have a BASFORD line.  Have I proved they came from Basford?  No - I have proved them in Towcester, near Basford, but I haven't proved a Basford origin.
....and so on.

Back to William DEMAINE in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire.  In your other thread http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=793369.9 you state that the baptism (1679 is annotated FNU - suggesting Father's Name Unknown.  Was there a mother named in the baptism register?  If not, unless there are notes elsewhere (such as parish minutes) you may have hit a dead end.

arthurk's findings show that the name DEMAINE existed in the 1570s in Yorkshire and 13th century Lancashire shows that there could be plenty of research still to be done in England on this line.

Philip
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: Greensleeves on Tuesday 22 May 18 08:21 BST (UK)
Without wanting to reignite the argument, I think it is somewhat misleading to say that people chose their own surnames.  No doubt the wealthy and those with substance did, but those at the bottom of the heap were given theirs.  Quite commonly, someone who was a sawyer would be called John Sawyer; a barrel-maker would be Will Cooper and so on.  Others would take the name of their lord, or the village where they lived.  For these people, surnames were flexible too, and a lot depended on what the parish clerk wrote in his register as to what your name was.

This method of naming still exists in parts of rural Wales, where there are often only two dominant surnames.  So people are familiarly called by their farm or house names or by a defining feature, as was the practise in England in earlier times.  For example our house was Bear House, so we were known as The Bears; one of the village lads who was a bit of a tearaway was known as Dai Bungalow because 'he had nothing upstairs', and the unfortunate woman who lived next to a public toilet was known as Megan Toilet Cottage.  ;D
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: N.Demaine92 on Tuesday 22 May 18 11:48 BST (UK)
This interesting surname, of French origin, is a locational name from Maine, an ancient French province, with the prefix "de" meaning "from". The surname dates back to the early 13th.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: arthurk on Tuesday 22 May 18 19:22 BST (UK)
This interesting surname, of French origin, is a locational name from Maine, an ancient French province, with the prefix "de" meaning "from". The surname dates back to the early 13th.

This might be true for some instances of the surname, but the article from which this appears to be taken doesn't mention Yorkshire or Lancashire at all - see http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Demaine

It is quite possible for instances of what appears to be the same surname to have completely different origins, and just because some Demaines may be able to claim a Norman-French origin, it doesn't necessarily mean that all will.

I'm also a little unsure about how reliable that site is: they appear to have gathered a few random early occurrences from parish registers and other documents, but there is little or nothing about significant localised clusters of some names in later centuries. There also seems to be no reference to the work of acknowledged experts in the field of surname research. What does anyone else think?
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: philipsearching on Tuesday 22 May 18 20:34 BST (UK)
What does anyone else think?

I think we're at risk of straying into pantomime land: "Oh yes it is!" - "Oh no it isn't!"  Maybe, after all the information and ideas we have shared, it's time to conclude that:

The name Demaine occurs in France.
Some Demaines in the UK may have lines going back to France (at whatever date)
Some Demaine surnames in the UK might have been adapted or adopted in the past.
As yet, the link between William Demaine and France may be correct, but has not yet been proved by official records.

Philip
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: carol80 on Tuesday 22 May 18 22:53 BST (UK)
I have a Demaine family in my tree. I have an Anthony Demaine b 1705 d 1784 Menwith Hill Yorkshire. My Line goes down to my Great Grandfather Arthur Demaine Laurie, Demaine being his mother's maiden name.
Maybe we link in somewhere?

    Carol (in New Zealand)
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: Vance Mead on Wednesday 23 May 18 05:00 BST (UK)
I wonder if this might be the same name, though it's not in Yorkshire: Demene.

This is a case in Common Pleas from 1440:

Wilts. Robert Hungerford, knight, versus Peter Demene, of South Langley (Langley Burrell), for waste (lowering the value of property through destruction or neglect) of property held on a life tenure in Hardenhuish. (Both places near Chippenham.)

http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no717/bCP40no717dorses/IMG_1820.htm

The spelling - Demene - makes me think it might have an origin in the word Demesne, which would be pronounced similarly to Demaine.
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: N.Demaine92 on Wednesday 23 May 18 11:58 BST (UK)
Hi carol,
Looking through my tree I don't have an anthony demaine born 1705. The only anthony I have was born 1700 in Pateley bridge, Yorkshire.  I've noticed there were other demaine families living in Yorkshire.  Could be a connection somewhere down the line, I don't know.

Nicole
Title: Re: Demaine, france?
Post by: J.Demaine on Thursday 15 October 20 19:14 BST (UK)
Yes the name is from the French region if Maine.  De = from Maine, Demaine. Name first recorded in 12th century France.  I have a family tree going back to the 16th century.  First reference of Demaine immigrating to New York is the early 19th century.  My family came to eastern Canada in 1880.  I'm now in western Canada.  Hi!