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Recorded in the spellings of Wainman, Whenman, Wainer, and Wenman, this is a surname of Olde English pre 9th century occupational origins. The earliest word for a waggon was "waegen", with a silent "g", and from this developed various surnames such as "Wain", which described a person who lived at the sign of a wain, indicating the local transport contractor, or wainwright, a maker of wains or waggons. Wainwright in various spellings, is a popular surname in its own right. The ancient roads being at best tracks without signposts, and often the haunt of thieves and bandits, were used only by equally tough "wainers". A journey of twenty miles often took several days, so "wainmen" not only carried out a public service, they were usually the only bearers of news between isolated communities. Early examples of the surname holders include John Weneman of Essex in 1327, and Henry Wayner of London, in the registers known as the Court of Pleas. The first known recording of the family name may be that of John Waynaman of Yorkshire in the Subsidy Rolls of that county for the year 1297. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.


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