The surname Cain vs. Caine

+2 votes
I am just curious if there is a difference between these names. I have a branch in my tree of Cain that is from the Isle of Man, however some of the records I have found also have the name spelled Caine. Is this just simply a case of misspelled names or are there actually two different surnames, one being Cain and the other Caine?
in Genealogy Help by Kaylee Robinson G2G6 Mach 2 (21.9k points)
Try looking up Cain at  .  It's a free site

Also, if you look up Caine as well, you can see what has to say about it.
Final-e comes and goes with the weather. Don't read any significance into it.

3 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
The Gaelic original form of Cain was O Cathain in Ireland and MacCathain on the Isle of Man. There is correct was to anglicise a Gaelic surname, so MacCathain can be rendered as both Cain and Caine, with the one family and even the one individual being found under either spelling on different days.

The Manx DNA project has shown that there are two separate Cain families on Man: a family bearing Y-Haplogroup R1b, with the Little Scots Cluster genotype, in the north of the island; and a family with Y-Haplogroup R1a in the south, descended from a fairly late arrival, a Viking from Ireland. The surname spelling variations occur independently of which Cain family one belongs to.
by Rory Cain G2G6 (9.8k points)
selected by Kaylee Robinson
Thank you so much for an informative answer! I look forward to analyzing the DNA I have to see where we stand! Again, thank you!
+2 votes
In earlier records the spelling of the name would depend on which clerk wrote the record so one individual might have several variant spellings of their name throughout their life. More stable spellings came into being together with literacy when people were able to correct the clerk if he varied it and could sign their own names. If you take a closer look at your Cain and Caine you may well find that both spellings are used at various times for one family.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (628k points)
+1 vote
I know a family by the name of Holdsworth, and I mentioned in the area I had seen a family by the name of  Houldsworth, turns out they belong to the same family - Two Brothers fell out in the earlier 1800s, so I would say same name just different spellings before surname spelling became the norm
by Heather Jenkinson G2G6 Mach 2 (28.1k points)
Thanks. It seems that this has happened quite a bit on a few of my branches! Lol

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