This unusual surname is a late variant of the early German "Pein" also found in England as "Payne or Pain." It derives from the Latin (Roman) "Paganus" and originally described a civil official, but later in Christian times was used as a derogatory term for an "unbeliever" - one who caused, or might be thought to be "a pain". Clearly there were a lot of unbelievers because not only was the surname early, it was very popular, and remains so today. In fact in Germany there are at least two "Von Pein" families whilst in Britain no less than thirty seven Coats of Arms have been granted to Payn, Payne or Pain nameholders including the Barony of Lavington, although this is now extinct.It has been suggested that the early surname could be a metonymic for a torturer, but given the popularity this seems logically unlikely. The recordings of surnames in Germany are erratic. This is largely owing to the fragmentation of the "Empire" prior to the Bismarck amalgamation in 1860. Examples of recordings are as follows; Auguste Henriette Peinke who married Heinrich Milting at Angermunde, Province of Brandenburg, Germany, on June 22nd 1858, whilst on June 30th 1925 Caleb Richard Peinke and his wife the former Lilian Blanche Coombes, were recorded at East London, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hennig van Peine, which was dated 1456, in the records of Glockengieber, State of Brandenburg, during the reign of Emperor Frederick 111 of the German Empire 1440 - 1493. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.