The Paine Family
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

On this page I will explore Payne/Paine genealogy and historical information about famous Paynes/Paines.


From Hotten's Early American Emigrants we find:

"May 19th, 1637. The examination of Thomas Paine, of Wrentom, in Suffolcke, weauear (weaver), aged 50 yeares (years), and Elizabeth, his wife, ageed (aged) 53 yeares (years), with 6 children, Thomas, John, Marey (Mary), Elizabeth, Dorethry (Dorothy), and Sarah, are desirous to goe (go) for Salem in New England to inhabitt (inhabit)" (Family Tree Maker CD364 American Source Records in England, 1600's-1800's) Broderbund Software, Inc.).


Paine/Payne/Paynes meant the rustic or countryman, a pagan, or decendant of Payen (villager, later heathen)(Smith, Elsdon, New York: Gramercy Publishing Company, 1988.

Paganus was a favorite personal name among the Normans, and in French the name was reduced to Payen, Pain, and Paine. There was a Robert Payen or Paganus in Normandy in 1180, and 1108 (Magn. Rotul. Scaccarii Normannie in the Memoires de la Societe des Antiquaires de la Normandie).

There was a John Pain in England in 1272. From this line came the baronets Payne (Rotuli Hundrederum) (record publication).


Thomas Paine by John Wesley Jarvis (1780-1840)
Painted circa 1805

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was born on January 29, 1737; in Thetford, England, and died June 8, 1809, in New York City. Thomas Paine was the son of a poor Quaker corset maker. His father was Joseph Paine (a Quaker) and Frances Cocke Paine (an Anglican). He was self-educated. He was an avid reader from an early age, and by his teens, he was reading books written in Latin.

Thomas married Mary Lambert. She died in childbirth, as did her child. However, Thomas spent the first thirty-seven (37) years of his life in poverty. Thomas Paine tried a few different occupations, such as corset maker, a privateer (in 1756), a Methodist preacher, a grocer, an excise officer (from which he was fired twice), an English teacher, and a writer. It wasn't until 1774 when he arrived in Philadelphia, PA. with letters of introduction from Benjamin Franklin that he seemingly found his way in the world. While in London, Paine caught the attention of Benjamin Franklin, and when Franklin found out he wanted to go to America, Franklin recommended Philadelphia. It was said that Paine had trouble relating to others, but that he was a creative literary genius. He made money as a free-lance journalist for the periodical, The Pennsylvania Magazine.

In Philadelphia, Thomas Paine wrote countless articles, stories, and in 1775, this poem:

"From the east, to the west blow the trumpet to arms!
Through the land let the sound of it flee.
Let the far and near all unite, with a cheer,
In defense of our Liberty Tree."

Another writing from Common Sense written on January 10, 1776:

"O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare to oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted around the globe. O! Receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an assylum for mankind!"

Thomas Paine's words inspired the cause of obtaining independence of the British.

Paine is best remembered for his political pamplets. He published Common Sense in 1776, when he was thirty-nine (39) years old. He argued that America had a moral obligation to the world, and that was to declare independence. Congress had already been cautiously moving toward the idea of independence: "Tis time to part." he wrote. Paine's pamplets gained popularity and were the catalyst for more action on the matter of breaking from England. Common Sense sold out in less than two weeks in Philadelphia, within three months, it sold more than 120,000 copies throughout the colonies. Paine's pamplet was either read or heard by almost every American citizen. In the next two years, one-half million copies sold around the world. Paine lurked aroun the halls of Congress and nagged and pestered delegates to vote for independence. People began to toss out loyalists who dominated the state legislature and sent representatives to Congress that supported independence.

Thomas Paine donated all the royalities to the Second Continental Congress (Phillips, Donale T., The Founding Fathers on Leadership. New York: Warner Books, 1997, 60.

Thomas Paine challenged the British view that American colonies needed to be protected by England and that the monarchy/parliament was better than local government. He state that simpler was better and that American economy suffered under England's control. Connecticut merchants and businessmen openly violated the Crown's trade restrictions and navigation acts. Virginia tobacco farmers refused payment to their debt to British creditors. Thomas Paine, in England's eyes, was committing treason. However, he refused to be intimidated by the crown. He even called George III, The "Royal Brute of Britain."

The Declaration of Independence was an act of treason against the government of Great Britain. For that reason, the names of the signers were not revealed.

He also wrote: The American Crisis (December 19, 1776), which is often quoted: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman...Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." Widely circulated, these pamplets helped raise American morale during a dark period of Revolution.

Paine marched to Anboy, New Jersey, located off the tip of Staten Island, New York; where the British began their invasion. They arrived before the first 9,300 redcoats landed, and he stayed until the fighting went north. Paine then went ot Fort Lee where General Nathaniel Greene appointed him as one of his aides.

Paine traveled between London and France in the late 1780's, and managed to get his cherished invention, an iron bridge, and established himself as a world revolutionary with the publishing of The Rights of Man.

In 1792 Thomas Paine became a French citizen. He was briefly in politics. Paine began The Age of Reason while incarcerated in prison during the French Revolution. The Age of Reason shocked America. They called it the "Atheist's Bible." He made more enemies when he published Letter to George Washington, in which he attacked the military reputation and policies of America's national icon.

For more information on George Washington:

George Washington-Our First President/US Royalty
The Lineage of George Washington

In 1802 Paine returned to New York City where he spent his last years in poverty, drink, declining health, and social ostracism. He died on June 8, 1809. In 1819 Thomas Paine's remains were taken to England by William Corbett, and eventually knowledge of his resting place was lost.

The above portrait was made from an engraving by Julius R. Ames (Flexner, James Thomas, The Face of Liberty: Founders of the United States. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc, Publisher, 1975.

Another Paine Patriot was Robert Treat Payne, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. For his tree CLICK HERE


James Paine was known for restoring "English Country Homes." Some of the homes he worked on were:

  • Chatsworth Country House-Home of the Cavendish Family in Derbyshire, England. He was hired by the 4th duke, who was briefly Prime Minister.
  • James Paine designed the bridge over the Derwent (1760-1764) and the stable block (1758-1763).

    Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, England. Kedeston Hall

  • In 1769, James designed the north entrance (front)

    Raby Castle in county Durham

  • He worked for the 3rd Lord Barnard and the 1st earl of Darlington.

    Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk County, England.

  • Felbrigg Hall's west wing was redesigned in 1749-1756, when Wiliam Windham hired Paine to design a new suite of reception rooms. Paine also built the service wing to the east of the house which was Gothicised in 1825 by a local architect, W.J. Donthorne.

  • Alnwick Castle in Northumberland. England. .....James Paine worked on Alnwick with another architect, Robert Adams (they worked together at Syon and Northumberland House in London as well). The Alnwick work was done from 1754-1780, and involved creating a suite of reception rooms and bedrooms on the first floor of the keep. These were decorated in an extravagantly frothy Gothic style - apparently not to the Duke's (Sir Hugh Smithson's) tate, but he conceded to his Dutchess.

    Wollington at Cambo, England

  • Another Northumberland project was Wollington. The best approach to this country house was from the south. This includes the 1755 bridge made by James Paine and the coach-house built in 1751-1754 by Garrett and Paine, surmounted by a cupola in the form of a circular domed temple.

  • Chellington Manor, Staffordshire, England. Chellington was located west of Wolverhampton, and was owned by the Giffard family. Paine built another bridge here.

  • Weston Park, Staffordshire, England. Weston Park is located east of Telford, Staffordshire, England, and James Paine designed many out buildings there.

  • Stockeld Park, North Yorkshire County, England. Stockeld Park in North Yorkshire was an impressive stone house that Paine built. It is located 2 miles north west of Wetherby. James Paine was often said to be one of the leading country house architects of the mid eighteen century. Stockeld Park is the only complete house by him to be regularly open to the public. The house was built for William Middleton, a Roman Catholic family, who had been lords of the manor since 1318. Paine said the work was "carried on with great spirit, as the worthy proprietor spared no expense to make it permanent and beautiful" (Tyack, Geoffrey and Steven Brndle, Country Houses of England. London: A & C Black, 1994). Middleton died just after the house was finished.

  • Braham Park in West Yorkshire, south of Wetherby. Paine worked on this estate, then owned by Robert Benson. When Benson died, the estate went to his daughter and George Fox, Lord Bingley, who inherited an Irish fortune from the Lane family and they added temples to their garden, designed by James Paine. Paine also designed the stable block to the left of the entrance courtard.

  • Nostell Priory, east of Wakefield. In 1736, Paine began construction on four pavilions, one of his major works, but two wings were never built and only one survives today.

    Paine also designed some interiors here, but in 1765 his appointment was dropped in favor of Robert Adams, a younger architect.
    ( Pearson, John, The Serpent and the Stag: The Saga of England's Powerful and Glamorous Cavendish Family From the Age of Henry the Eighth to the Present. New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1983. AND Tyack, Geoofrey and Steven Brindle, Country Houses of England. London" A & C Black, 1994. AND Bence-Jones, Mark, The National Trust Great English Homes: Ancestral Homes of England and Wales and the People Who Lived in Them. New York: British Heritage Press, 1984.).


    Sir Joseph Paine, Mayor, owned Stranger's Hall in Norwich, a merchant's house. The hosier enlarged and rebuilt the parlour (dining room) in 1659 (Wood, Margaret, The English Mediaeval House. New York: Harper Colophone Books, 1965.).

    How these famous Paine might relate to my line is for now unknown.



    One of the most famous Paine/Payne/Payens was Hugues de Payen (1070-1136). Hugh (English spelling) was a French knight from the Champagne region. He was thought to have been born in Chateau Payens, which was located about ten (10) kilometers from Troyes, Champagne, France. Hugh co-founded the Knights Templars as their first Grand Master. With Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, he created the Latin Rule, with because the behavior code of the Templars.

    It is thought that Hugh was a vassal of Count Hugh of Champagne, and Hugh went with the Count on the First Crusade. When Hugh de Champagne visited Jerusalem in 1108, Hugh de Payens went with him and remained there. It is this time the the formation of the warrior monks began. Pope Urban II recognized them and used them to protect pilgrims to the Holy Lands. The original knights numbered only nine (9):

    1. Hugh de Payens
    2. Godrey de Saint-Omer
    3. Payen de Montdidier
    4. Archamnaud de St. Agnan
    5. Andre de Montbard
    6. Geoffrey Bison
    7. Rossel (?)
    8. Gondamer
    9. Count Hugh de Champagne.

    Hugh de Payens was the Grand Master of the Knights Templar for almost twenty years.

    In 1128, Hugh de Payens visited Scotland and England. He is raised money for his Order. Their first houses (in the British Isles) were established in London, England; and Edinburgh, Scotland. The Scottish house was at Temple, in Midlothian.

    Hugh de Payens dies in Palestine in 1136, and his successor, as Grand Master, was Robert de Craon.

    I have a page on Hugh de Payens, the Knights Templar, at: The Knights Templar that you might find interesting.


    My own Paine line begins with Philemon Dickerson B: May 7, 1613, who married MARY PAINE who was born on October 12, 1611 in Wrentham, Suffolk County, England). She came to Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, in 1641. Philemon died March 27, 1672 in Southold, Long Island, New York; and Mary died March 1, 1698 in Southold, Long Island, New York.

    Mary Paine was the daughter of Thomas Paine who was born on December 11, 1586 in Wrentham, Suffolk County, England. In one account, he married Elizabeth Margaret Pultenay on November 22, 1610 in Wrentham, Suffolk County, England. Thomas Paine died in 1610 in the Parish of Cooklie, Wrentham, Suffolk County, England. Margaret died on September 16, 1686.

    This Paine line is in question.

    Here is that line:

    Generation One:

    Thomas Paine married Katherine Harasant de Cransford, daughter of Thomas Harasant de Cransford. They were married on July 1578 in Cooklie (near Halesworth), Blything, Suffolk County, England.

      The Children of Thomas and Katheran were:

    • Henri Paine was born Friday, July 31, 1579, and died on Saturday, September 26, 1579
    • John Payne was born on Thursday, October 27, 1580
    • Marie Payne was born on Monday, March 25, 1583 and died in 1583.
    • Robarte Payne was borm on Sunday, June 7, 1584
    • Thomas Payne was born on Sunday, December 11, 1586

    Katherine Payne, wife of Thomas Paine, died May 18, 1620. Thomas Payne died on April 14, 1631; at age 90/91 years of age.

    Generation Two:

    Thomas Payne came on the Mary Anne of Yarmouth on August 21, 1637. Thomas Paine was received into the town of Salem, Massachusetts; at the age of 51.

    Thomas was listed as a weaver who had come from Wrentham, Suffolk County, England. As stated in generation one, Thomas was born on December 11, 1586. He married Elizabeth---? on November 22, 1610.

      Their children were:

    • MARY PAYNE was born on October 12, 1611. She married PHILEMON DICKERSON
    • Thomas Payne was born on January 18, 1612 and died on August 3, 1684.
    • Elizabeth Payne was born on January 20, 1614.
    • Peter Payne was born on March 14, 1616
    • Dorothy Payne was born on December 6, 1618
    • John Payne was born on August 26, 1620
    • Sara Payne was born on March 7, 1621
    • Nathaniel Payne was born on July 21, 1626 and died on April 6, 1636 (at age 9)

    Generation Three:

    Mary Payne/Paine was born on October 12, 16ll. Mary married Philemon Dickerson, tanner of Salem (1689) and they settled in Southold, Long Island, New York. Philemon died before 1672 in New York.

      Their Children:

    • Mary Paine was baptised on March 20, 1642/1643


    The Norman People. London, 1874.

    For more on this line go to The Dickerson Family - Table of Contents.

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