THE NAME AND FAMILY OF MAIN ROOTS RESEARCH BUREAU, LTD. Business Office 39 West 32 Street Suite 704 New York, NY 10001 MANUSCRIPT NUMBER 1698 THE NAME AND FAMILY OF MAIN The name of Main is derived, in some cases, from the baptismal name of Mayne or Main and, in others, from the residence of its first bearers in the French Province of Maine. According to Irish and Scottish genealogists, Mayne, Main(e), and Maign are synonymous and are variants of an ancient Irish personal name, Maon, meaning "a hero". In the Anglo-Saxon and Teutonic languages the word main or maine means "strength" or "Power". Regardless of the origin of the name, the Spellings of Mayne, Mayn, Maign, Maigne, Mane, Maine, and Main were used inter-changeably in ancient times, the last-mentioned form being that most frequently in evidence in America today. Manes, Maines, Mains, and Maynes are also variants of the name, the final s meaning "son of". In the early Irish records are found the names of Maine, son of Niall, who died in the year 440 A.D.; of Maon, son of Muireadach of the O'Neills, who was living about the year 527 A.D., of Maine, son of Gearbhal, who was killed in 531 A.D., in defense of the hostages of Ul Maine of Connaught; and of Maine, Abbot of Aendrum, who died in 632 A.D. Of these, Maon, son of Muireadach, had a son named Colman, who was the father of Faolan, the father of Endalach, the father of Teandalach, who had a son named Gairmleadach. To the last was born Balbhach, the father of Maolmithidh, the father of Cathmhaol, the father of Gairleadach. This Gairleadach was the father of Macrath, the father of Meanman, the father of Domhnall, the father of Conchobhar, who had two sons, Endalach and Domnhall. Of these, Endalach was the father of Niall, the father of Conchobhar, the father of Sithreach, the father of Maol, who was the father of Conchobhar O'Maon or Mayne, of Ireland. Some of the Irish families of the name were of scottish descent, the Scottish lines asserting Norman origin. It is recorded that Enulphus de Maine was standard bearer with William the Conqueror, who led the Normans into England in 1066 A.D. Joel de Mayne, possibly descended from Enulphus, owned property in Devonshire, England, in the year 1140. A younger branch of this Devonshire family was early seated in County Kent, England, where one John Mayne was born in 1512 and died in 1565, leaving issue of Walter, Cuthbert, Alexander, and Alice. Of the Scottish lines, Sir Walter Maign had a charter of lands in Aberdeen- shire, Scotland, in 1370; Jasper Main recieved land near Edinburg about 1511; and William Mayne, Esq., had lands near sterling, Scotland, in the latter part of the sixteenth century. This William was the father in 1586 of a son named John, who married Katherine Ker and had issue by her of John, Margaret, Janet and Mary. By his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Hall, John had no further issue. The younger John married Margaret Anderson, by whom he was the father of William, Edward, and others. By his first wife, Eupham Christie, William was the father of John, Edward, Charles, Catherine, and Margaret; and by his second wife, Helen Galbraith, he had further issue of William, Robert and four daughters. Among the earliest definite records of the name in England are those of Ralph filius (meaning "son of") Main, who was living in the County of Northumberland, in the year 1166; those of Walter filius Main, of Northumberland, in 1168; those of Matilda Meyer, of Oxfordshire, in 1273; those of Walter de Man, of County Cambridge, in 1273; and those of Johannes de Man, of Yorkshire, in 1379. In the early sixteenth century one Richard Mayne was living in Hertfordshire, England. He married a Miss Bradshaw and had issue by her of henry, William, Richard, Elizabeth, and Alice. Of these, Henry was the father by his wife Alice of James, Symon, John, Susanna, and Anna; William had issue of Bridget, Jane, Elizabeth; Symon married Caluberie Lovelace before 1611 and was the father by her of two children, Simon and Caluberie; and John, who made his home at Eldon, in Warwickshire, married twice. By his first wife, Blanch Coles, he had two children, John and Blanch; and by his second wife, Anne Lovelace, he had a son named Joseph, who was born in 1612. Thomas Mayne, who was living at Rowlston, in Holderness, Yorkshire, in the early sixteenth century, was the father of a son named Christopher, who married Elizabeth Daniell. To this union were born five children, William, Marmaduke, Thomas, Margery, and Elizabeth Mayne. Family historians assert that the first of the family in America was John Maine (also recorded as Main, Mayn, and Mayne), who came from York, England, to America about 1629, but the direct ancestry of the American lines of the family is not in evidence. The immigrant John settled in York, Me. His son, Ezekiel Main, was born in 1641 and settled first at Scituate, Mass., whence he removed in 1669 to Stonington, Conn. The children of Ezekiel were Ezekiel, Mary, Jeremiah, Thomas (died young), Phebe, and Hannah. Ezekiel Main(e) or Mayn(e), son of the first of that name in America, was married at Stonington, Conn., in 1689 to Mary Wells, but his records are not complete. Jeremiah Main, son of the first Ezekiel, married the Widow Ruth Brown in 1699. Their children, born in Stonington, were Thomas, Hannah, Elizabeth, Lydia, Sarah, Jeremiah, Hepzibah, Nathaniel, Anna, John, and Peter. Deacon Thomas Main, eldest son of Jeremiah and Ruth (Brown), was married at Stonington in 1720 to Annah Brown, by whom he had nine children, Thomas, Andrew, Timothy, Joshua, Anne, Jonas, Elizabeth, Ezekiel, and Phebe. Of the last-mentioned brothers, Thomas married Mary Pendleton in 1742 and was the father by her of Mary, Sarah Foster, Thomas, Benajah, Prudence, Benjamin, Abigail E., and Lucy; Andrew was married in 1743 to Fear Holmes, who gave him eleven children, Bethiah, Fear, Anne, Andrew, Ruth, Rachel, Molly, Joshua, Elias, Reuben, and Eunice; Timothy left issue by his wife, Elizabeth Brown, whom he married in 1750, of Elizabeth, Timothy, Nathaniel, Lydia, Rufus, Grace, Laban, Luther, Lucy, Simeon, Ephraim, and Joanna; Joshua (sometimes recorded as Mane) removed to Patterson, N.Y., and left issue by his first wife, Rachel Peckham, of Amos, Rachel, and Sebbeus, while his only child by his second wife, Elizabeth Hovey, was named Joshua; Jonas was the father by his first wife, Patience Peckham, of a son named Sibius, while his second wife, Content Bromley, gave him further issue of Content, Reuben Peckham, Patience, Lyman, Dewey, Jonas M., Thomas, Jabish Breed, Namcy, and paul B. Main; and Ezekiel left issue by his wife, Deborah Meacham, whom he married in 1761, of a son named Ezekiel. Jeremiah Main, second son of Jeremiah and Ruth (Brown), first married Abigail Worden in 1727. To this marriage were born Thankful (died young), Ruth, Jeremiah, Amos, and Abigail. His second wife, Thankful Brown, whom he married in 1742, gave him further issue of James, Lydia, Thankful, Bridget, David, Nathaniel, and Daniel. Of the sons of Jeremiah and his first wife, Abigail, Jeremiah's records are incomplete; but it is known that Amos married Abigail Brown in 1756 and was the father by her of Naboe, Esther, Keturah, Thankful, Tryphenia, Anne, Desire, Betsey, and Amos C. Main. Of the sons of Jeremiah's second wife, Thankful (nee Brown), James married Hannah Wallace at Stonington in 1763 and had issue by her of Hannah, James, Gilbert, and Lucinda; David married four times; his wives being Hannah Worden, Judeth Palmer, the Widow Esther (nee Dean) Palmer, and Philena Sawyer, and was the father of eleven children, Hannah, Thankful, Patty, David, Robert, Ira, Rial, Chandler, Fenner, Rhoda, and Saxton; Nathaniel married Abigail Thurston, of Rhode Island, in 1780 and was the father by her of Job, Gardner, Betsey, Adah, Russel, Nabby or Abigail, Ezra, Clarissa, Hannah, and Ruby; while Daniel, the youngest son, married his cousin, Grace Main, daughter of Timothy, in 1797. John Main, son of Jeremiah and Ruth (Brown), was married in 1738 to Sarah Morgan, of Stonington, by whom he had issue of Judith, John, Jonathan, Caleb, and Sarah. The records of this line are not complete. Peter Main, youngest son of Jeremiah and Ruth (Brown), was married in 1740 to Mary Eggleston, of Stonington. To this union were born Peter (died in infancy), another Peter, Joseph (died young), Mary, Asa, Lucy (died young), Joseph, Sands, David, Lucy, and Prudence. Of these, Peter married Patience Eggleston before 1765 and had issue by her of eleven children, Peter, Agnes, Joseph, Philena, Polly, Amos, Jared, John, Deborah, David, and Prudence. One John Maine or Mayen (also recorded as Mayne) was living at Boston, Mass., in 1687. About thirty years before this date he had purchased land at North Yarmouth, Me. In the year 1687 he mentions his "family", without naming them, in a petition to Governor Andros. However, this reference may refer to the first-mentioned John, who supposedly came over in 1629. The first of the family in the South included Samuel Mayne, who was living in York River County, Va., in 1648; Susan Mayne, who was living in Northumberland County, Va., in 1650; Grigory Maine, of North- umberland County, Va., in 1650; and John Mayne, of Lancaster County, Va., in 1655. Nothing is definitely known concerning the immediate families or descendants of these early settlers. Generally intelligent and in some cases highly intellectual, the members of the family have been chiefly engated in professional lines of endeavor. Many of them have distinguished themselves in educational and literary fields, while others have shown themselves to be shrewd and practical in business. Among those of the name who served with the Colonial forces during the War of the Revolution were Andrew, Benjamin, David, Henry, John, Jonas, Lyman, Nathaniel, Perez, Stephen, and William Main, of Connecticut; Amos Maine, of Connecticut; Thomas Mane, of Connecticut' Amos Benjamin, George, John, Joseph, and William Main (also recorded as Maine, Mains, and Mane), of Massachusetts; James, Robert, and William Main, of New York; Charles Maines, of New York; Henry, Jeremiah, Sebeus, and William Mane, of New York; John Main, of Pennsylvania; Charles Mayne, of Pennsylvania; William Maynes, of Virginia; Francis, John, Tapley or Tapla, George, Patrick, Thomas, and William Main(e)s or Manes, of Virginia; Patrick and Philip Mane or Main(e), of Virginia; and probably many more from the other States of that period. Thomas, John, Charles, William, Richard, Henry, Edward, Andrew, Ezekiel, Nathaniel, David, Robert, Peter, Joseph, and Timothy are some of the male Christian names frequently recurrent in the annals of the family. A few of the many members of the family who have been prominent in America at various times are: Thomas Main (1828-1896) of Scotland and New York, educator, civil engineer, and author. Hubert Platt Main (b. 1839), of Connecticut, educator, publisher, and composer. Charles Thomas Main (b. 1856), of Massachusetts, engineer. John Hanson Thomas Main (b. 1859), of Ohio, Maryland, and Iowa, educator and college president. John Fleming Main (b. 1864), of Illinois and Washington, judge. Mary Talulah Maine (b. 1869), of Connecticut and New York, educator. Verner Wright Main (b. 1885), of Ohio and Michigan, Congressman. One of the most ancient of the coats of arms of the British family of Main, to which many of the American lines of the family are related, is described in heraldic terms as follows (Burke, Encyclopedia of Heraldy, 1844): Arms. --"Argent, a chevron cotised between three pheons gules." Crest. --"An escallop or, charged with a mullet gules." The coats of arms of the Mayne family of Yorkshire, England, from which, according to one family historian, the earliest families of the name in America were descended, is described by the same authority thus: Arms. --"Argent, on a bend sable three dexter hands couped of the field." Crest. --"Out of a ducal coronet or, a dragon's head ermine". BIBLIOGRAPHY Bardsley. English and welsh Surnames. 1901. Harrison. Surnames of the United Kingdom. Vol. 2. 1918. O'Hart. Irish Pedigrees. 1915. Lodge. Peerage of ireland. Vol. 7. 1789. Douglas. Baronage of Scotland. Vol. 1. 1798. Harleian Society. Warwickshire Visitation. 1877. Foster. The Yorkshire Visitations. 1875. Brown. Babcock - Main Genealogy. 1909. Savage. Genealogical Dictionary of New England. Vol.3. 1861. Tanner. Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Tanner, of Connecticut. 1893. Greer. Early Virginia Immigrants. 1912. Connecticut Men in the Revolution. 1889. Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War. 1902. Fernow. New York in the Revolution. 1887. Pennsylvania Muster Rolls. 1907. Gwathmey. Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution. 1938. Herringshaw. American Biography. Vol. 4. 1914. Who's Who in America. 1936 - 1937. Burke. Encyclopedia of Heraldry. 1844. WHY YOU HAVE A FAMILY NAME AND WHAT IT MEANS Primitive personal names doubtless originated soon after the invention of spoken language, in the dark ages long preceding recorded history. For thousands of years thereafter first or given names were the only designations that men and women bore; and at the dawn of historic times, when the world was less crowded than it is today and every man knew his neighbor, one title of address was sufficient. Only gradually, with the passing centuries and the increasing complexity of civilized society, did a need arise for more specific designations. While the roots of our system of family names may be traced back to early civilized times, actually the hereditary surname as we know it today dates from scarcely more than nine hundred years ago. A surname is a name added to a baptisimal or given name for the purposes of making it more specific and of indicating family relationship or descent. Classified according to origin, most surnames fall into four general groups: (1) those formed from the given name of the sire; (2) those arising from bodily or personal characteristics; (3) those derived from locality or place of residence; (4) those derived from occupation. It is easier to understand the story of the development of our institution of surnames if these classifications are borne in mind.