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VANES Family History

Recorded in many forms including Fain, Fane, Fayne, Faynes, Vain, Vaines, Vanes, and Vayne, this is a famous and noble English surname. However its origins are at best very confused, and from several sources including possibly France and Wales. The first and most likely source is that it was originally a nickname for a "well disposed person". As such this was a derivative of the Old English pre 7th century word "foegen", the Middle English 12th century "fein or fayn", and according to the New English Dictionary of 1883 quoting from an Elizabethan source "Fayne promys makyth folys Fayne", which roughly translates as a person permanently opposed to fools! The word as Fayn was also used as a given name in the Middle Ages and there is also a slight chance that for some nameholders it derives from the Welsh word "fain", meaning slender.

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