Page Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Page Meaning
The surname Page, derived from the Old French word page, meant a young boy or
servant. In the medieval age of chivalry, Page became an
occupational name and was the accepted way for a youth of good family
to advance to knighthood. Another suggested source for the
name in Kent was the old word pe-age
or passage money, a tax anciently levied on travelers bound for
the Crusades at Rochester.
A spelling variant has been Paige. France has the
surnames Page and Paget.

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Page Resources on
The
Internet

Select
Page Ancestry

England.
Early
accounts attach the Page surname to the de Pagham baron family.
It was said that Hugo
de Pagham
earned the title of Sir Hugo Page in 1260 after a
mission he undertook for Henry III. His brother William brought
the name to the south of England where most Pages are to be found.

Middlesex and London.
The earliest references appear to have been in the county of Middlesex
to the northeast of London. A Page family from Little Stanmore,
beginning with William Page in 1295, held the manor of Kingsbury in the
mid-1300’s. However, this male line died out in 1393. Pages
were recorded at Willesden in the 1490’s and at Wembley and Harrow in
the early 1500’s.

John
Page, the emigrant to Virginia in 1650, came from these parts.

“John
Page was the son of Thomas Page, born in 1597, of Sudbury who was the
seventh
son of Richard Page, second son of John Page, born in 1528, the first
son of Henry
Page of Wembley, born in 1500 – all in the parish of Harrow. He was born at Sudbury in 1627, immigrated to
America about 1650, and became the progenitor of the Page family in
Virginia.”


The Page estate
in Harrow and its environs dated from the time of Henry VIII and the
dissolution of the monasteries. The critical point seems to have
been the trial and execution of Anne Boleyn in 1536. Two Pages
were affected:

  • Edmund
    Page, described as a Kent gentleman, who was a member of the Grand Jury
    which convicted Anne Boleyn. He was probably the Edmund Page of
    Shorne between Gravesend and Rochester where there had been Pages since
    the late 1400’s.
  • and
    Richard Page, a courtier of uncertain origins, who had been arrested
    for treason and adultery at the time and sent to the Tower of
    London. However, within a month he was mysteriously released,
    rehabilitated, and in 1537 appointed the High Sheriff of Surrey and
    chamberlain to the King’s son Prince Edward.

Both
Pages had died by the 1550’s and the regn of Queen Mary. But
before that time a Page family seems to have been granted church lands,
starting with the Kilburn priory where the nuns had to be driven
out. The land also included the manor of Wembley which Richard
Page had acquired in 1542. Page descendants held title to the
land until 1829 when Henry Page, the last of this line, died.



SE England. Pages
also came at an early time from a wider arc in SE England – from
East Anglia southwards through Essex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex to
Hampshire.

During the 15th and 16th centuries there were Norfolk Pages in Acle
between Norwich and Great Yarmouth and later a line had moved to
nearby Ormsby. Suffolk recorded many Pages across the county in
the 16th
century. And Pages from Hellingly and Chiddingly in Sussex date
from the 1530’s. John Page of Dunnington in Sussex married Anne
Ruggles in 1591. A later John Page of this family was MP
for Chichester in the 1750’s.

Gregory
Page was said
“to
have descended from a good family in Hampshire.” He
made his mark as a merchant
and shipwright in London in the 1660’s. His
son, also named Gregory,
followed in his footsteps and, as a Director of the East India Company,
became extremely
wealthy from
trade
with Asia. Grandson Gregory of the next
generation
turned his attention to grand houses in Kent and art collections
.
But he died without heirs.

Elsewhere. The
Paige spelling was to be found in Devon. There are some reports
of the Paige name being in the Plymouth area as early as the 14th
century. A Paige family was influential in Barnstaple in the 17th
century. Gilbert Paige was mayor in 1629 and again in 1641 and
played a leading role in fortifying the town for the Parliamentarians
ahead of the Civil War.

Scotland. The Page surname has
generally been absent from Scotland, with the exception of Fife on the
east
coast. One Page family line started
there with the birth of Thomas Page at Auchtermuchty near Cupar in 1702.

Ireland. The Page name was present in
Galway and
Ulster primarily. The majority of the
Galway Pages were poor tenant farmers and left few records.
The
Pages of Oghilly in south Galway, who did have some land holdings in
Ballynakill parish, can be traced back to the early 1700’s. There were also Pages at
Clonrush
and
Inisparron
island in nearby Clare. Many of them
emigrated to Australia in the
mid-1800’s.

America. There were two early genealogical books
about Page written in America:

  • the
    first, The
    Genealogy of the Page Family in Virginia
    by Richard Page, appeared in 1893. It focused on
    Colonel John Page and the Pages of the “First
    Families of
    Virginia.”
  • the
    second, The History and
    Genealogy of the Page Family
    by Charles Nash Page, appeared in 1911. Although focusing on the line of John and
    Phoebe Page, the book also covered earlier Page history in England and
    other
    Pages in America.

New
England
.
John and Phoebe Page, the Puritan settlers from Boxted in Essex,
arrived in Boston on
the Jewel in 1630. These
Pages were to be found at Watertown and
Lunenburg, Massachusetts. Samuel Page was called the “Old
Governor
Page” of Lunenburg; his descendant John Page was the real Governor of
New
Hampshire in 1839. Another descendant was
Charles Grafton Page of Salem in Massachusetts, the inventor of the
modern circuit breaker in 1836. And there was also a line that
went to
Ohio where C.W. Page was the mayor of Norwalk in 1854 at the time of a
cholera
epidemic.

Other early New England Pages
were:

  • John
    Page from Norfolk who arrived in 1635 and made his home in Haverhill,
    Massachusetts. His line was covered in
    Case and Sanderson’s 1977 book The Family
    of John Page of Haverhill.
  • Robert
    Page, also from Norfolk, who came to
    Boston with his family in 1637 and moved to Hampton, New Hampshire two
    years
    later. His descendants remained in
    Hampton for six generations.
  • and
    George Page, from the Shorne line in Kent, who
    came to Branford, Connecticut in 1662. His
    line was covered in Edith Page’s 1977 book George
    Page of Branford
    .

Virginia. Colonel
John Page, a merchant, came to Virginia in
1650 and was the forebear of the illustrious Page family there, one of
the
“First Families of Virginia.” A wealthy
landowner, he was instrumental in the creation on his lands of the
College of
William and Mary in 1693 and of the colonial town of Williamsburg in
1699.

His grandson Mann Page built the
family’s magnificent
home, the Rosewell estate, in
Gloucester county in 1725. Two
generations later
came John Page, friend and cousin to Thomas Jefferson at the time of
the
Revolutionary War. He was subsequently
Governor of Virginia. Page county in
Virginia was named after him.

There was much inter-marriage between the Pages
and other First Families of Virginia.
Their principal relation was with the Nelson family. Later Pages of the family included Thomas
Nelson Page
, a Southern writer and lawyer, and William Nelson
Page, a
leading developer of West Virginia’s coalfields in the late 19th
century.

Some
have seen a linkage between this family and the Pages of Goochland
county,
Virginia, although DNA analysis has indicated otherwise.
But DNA analysis has suggested that an
African American Page family of Catonsville, Maryland is somehow
related. The connection here may have
started with Mann
Page III who had freed his slaves in the late 1700’s.

North Carolina. Thomas and Alice Page
had come to Isle of
Wight county, Virginia near the North Carolina border from Suffolk in
England in
1659. Their son John Page, born in 1685,
was the progenitor of many North Carolina families.
Jesse Page’s 1987 book The Page Family in North
Carolina
covered this lineage up to 1850.

One
line via Edward, Lewis and Anderson Page led to Frank
Page
, the founder
of the town of Cary, North Carolina. His
offspring were all distinguished, the most distinguished being probably
Walter
Hines Page, a newspaper publisher and US ambassador to Britain during
World War
One, and his son Arthur Page, a long-time executive at AT&T who is
sometimes called “the father of corporate public relations.”

Canada. Seneca
Paige came to Quebec from New England in
1816 and was a wood merchant at Dunham.
He was also suspected of counterfeiting American money there. He was a descendant of Nathaniel Paige, a
Massachusetts immigrant of the 1680’s.

John Page was a Scottish engineer from Fife who had come out to Canada
in
1842. He helped to build many of the
canals, lake harbors and lighthouses in the Great Lakes region. He made his home at Brockville near Ottawa.

Australia. James Page, a bookseller
from Kent, came out
to Australia with his family on the Blenheim
in 1855. He settled in Grafton,
NSW. His son Thomas was mayor of Grafton
in 1870 and 1881. Another son Charles
was a blacksmith and coachbuilder. One
of Charles’s sons Rodger became a missionary in Tonga.
Another son Earle progressed in politics and
was briefly in 1939 Australia’s Prime Minister.

 


Select
Page Miscellany

Sir Hugo de Pagham and the Page Line.  The first
known mention of the name de Pagham was John de Pagham, the bishop of
Worcester
in the 1150’s.  He was probably a native
of the township of Pagham on the Sussex coast.
But the main de Pagham line of interest seems to have been a
family that had established itself as barons at York in the north of
England.

The story goes that Hugo de Pagham of this
family was entrusted by King Henry III in 1257 with an important mission to the
King of
Spain.   It was
considered a mark of great distinction
that Hugo should have been chosen for this mission as in those feudal
times
great discretion and care were required on the part of messengers and
ambassadors.  King Henry was so much pleased with his diplomacy
and
faithful performance of this service, his mission having proven quite
successful, that he was made a knight in 1260.

In addition a proclamation was issued, giving notice that he was
thereafter to be known as Sir Hugo Page.
From that time on, Page was adopted as the family name.

William de Pagham, brother
of Hugo, was granted letters by Henry III to enable him to become a commander
of the Crusaders in 1270.  He accordingly
went to Palestine in command of a portion of the forces which engaged
in the
Holy Wars.  He was one of the survivors of that expedition.  After enduring four years of peril and
suffering, he returned and settled in Sussex in the southern part of
England.  This de Pagham may have been the
progenitor of
some
Pages in this part of England.

The Page Estate in Middlesex.  The Page estate in Middlesex began at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries when Henry VIII made available to Page
families in and around the town of Harrow.
At that time
this was a rather rough
country, part of it being covered by forests.
It was not supposed to be of that much value.

The first part of these lands made available were
those held by the Knights of St. John surrounding Kilburn Priory.  Here the nuns first had to be ejected.  A local legend has it that the evicted nuns
foretold that those who succeeded them in the property would reach the
climax
of ambition and then disappear.   Sir
Richard Page added the parish of Wembley in 1542.

The Page family held title to these lands
through the centuries.  Litigants later
claimed
that the Page estate had expanded to include such historic sites as
Harrow
School, Sudbury Rectory, Wembley Park, and Twyford Abbey, as well as
some rich
agricultural districts towards the Berkshire and Hertfordshire borders.  However, others maintained that the Page
estate had been much diminished over the years.

By the early 19th century the Page estate was in the hands of four
brothers who died in turn, the last being Henry Page in 1829, leaving
no heirs.

But claimants to what was seen as the Page
fortunes did appear.  The most persistent
was from the descendants of a Henry Page from Hillingdon whose sons had
emigrated to Australia in 1850.  In 1912
this family claim reached the high courts in London.
However, the claim was dismissed by the
judge, primarily due
to the fact that Henry Page having died over eighty years ago and that
no legal case
could now be proved.

Samuel Page of Lunenburg, Massachusetts.  Samuel Page had been born in Groton, Massachusetts in
1672 and at an early age departed for South Carolina.
His first wife died there and he met his second wife
there.  However, he did not remain there.  He
returned to Massachusetts in 1718 and to
Lunenburg, then called Turkey Hills and some eight miles west of Groton.

It
was still a wilderness there. Samuel Page
was its first settler.  The township
developed and he was usually called “Governor Page” since he was
presumed to be running
the place.

He
married his third wife in July 1747.  But
he died two months later.  The
inscription on his gravestone, executed in
rude capitals, read as follows:

“Here
lies buried the body of Mr. Samuel Page.
He
was the first that settled in this town,
Who departed this life Sept. 7, 1747
In the 76th year of his age.” 

The Page Family’s Rosewell Estate.  Mann Page was the grandson of immigrant John Page
and, at an early age, the sole heir of his grandfather’s vast estates
in
Gloucester county, Virginia.  In 1725 he
constructed the family home, Rosewell House, at the junction of Carter
creek
and the York river, supposedly on the site where Pocahontas had saved
the life
of Captain John Smith. It was the
largest and finest residence in Virginia at that time and was built of
brick,
marble and carved mahogany.

Rosewell
was to be the ancestral home of the Page family for more than 100 years
– until
its eventual sale in 1838.  John Page,
grandson of the builder, was the best friend and cousin of Thomas
Jefferson.  Tradition has it that the
Declaration of
Independence was drafted in this house by Jefferson before he went to
Philadelphia.

Legends
and lore associated with the estate have abounded.
Supposedly Mann Page had expired in the grand
front hall of the mansion and the Bishop of Virginia proclaimed that
God had
struck him down for his excesses.
Another rumor was that Mann had died because he was cursed by
the spirit
of Powhatan for building the mansion on the site of Werewocomoco, the
chief’s
village.

In
1916 a fire swept through the mansion, gutting it and leaving only a
shell which remained as a haunting testament to 18th century
craftsmanship and
dreams.  These ruins are haunted.  Tales of hauntings on the Rosewell grounds
have
covered a broad spectrum, from full-body apparitions to moans.  Vintage automobiles have even been sighted.

Thomas Nelson Page and the Myth of the Old South.  When Thomas
Nelson Page wrote about the antebellum South, he recalled his youth on a
slaveholding Virginia Tidewater plantation.
The descendant of generals, governors, and plantation owners, he
had
come to believe that the true South was populated by noble gentlemen,
pure
ladies, and devoted servants.

Page was only eleven years old when the Civil War
ended.  Accustomed to aristocratic
superiority over blacks and non-elite whites, he found the postbellum
struggle
of his people jarring.  He also believed
that Northerners had presented a distorted view of the South’s history
and
people – meaning the people of his own class.

He subscribed to the “Lost Cause” image
of the Civil War, extolling the virtues of Southern heroes’ brave fight
despite
inevitable doom at the hands of an industrial machine.
As the honorable Confederate soldiers
returned home,
they faced further challenges from Northern politicians and reformers
who made
policies based on ignorance of the true relationship between master and
slave.  He praised the South’s better
people for courageously counteracting Reconstruction’s abuses to
restore their
values.  He supported organizations such
as the Ku Klux Klan for
their attempts to restore the proper social
order.

Through an impressive bibliography of short stories, poems, novels, and
essays, Page set about to correct this tarnished image.  His
sentimental
idealizations of the Old South’s plantation culture contributed to the
development of a “moonlight and magnolias” myth that other writers at
the turn
of the century would perpetuate.

Frank Page of Cary, North Carolina.  His great grandfather Edward Page had come to a wild and hitherto untamed region of North Carolina, seeking more freedom and an
escape from the controlled life of the Virginia colony.

Allison Francis Page, born in Wake county in
1824, had the same independent pioneering streak.  This
led him into the virgin forests of North
Carolina in order to harvest naval stores and
to operate lumbering outfits.  He
realized much wealth from his logging operations, rafting the timbers
down the
Cape Fear river to
Fayetteville,
his headquarters, and to Wilmington, an important port of the Carolinas.

Of
tremendous physique, Frank possessed the immense strength and endurance
that
was typical of his rugged Page breed.  He was an energetic builder
and developer
with an adventuresome nature.  Of a keen
intellect, intensely religious, and a staunch prohibitionist, he was
admired
for his candid, just, and uncompromising opinions rendered freely in
situations
where others might not dare to speak up.

He became the first mayor and
postmaster of Cary, a small village about twelve miles west of Raleigh.  His home there was known as Pages
and was distinguished in its
architecture.  The lumber used to build
the two-story frame structure of the Cary school was also prepared at
his
mill.  And in 1868 he built a
Second-Empire hotel in the town, later known as the Page-Walker Hotel.

Because
he was such a great benefactor of the town, many of the citizens wished
to name
it Page’s Station.  But he insisted that
it be called Cary in honor of a prohibitionist that he greatly admired.

Frank
and his wife Catherine raised seven sons who all went onto distinguish
themselves:

  • Walter
    Hines Page was
    a brilliant scholar, noted editor, and respected U.S. ambassador to
    Britain in
    the Woodrow Wilson administration
  • Robert
    Newton Page was an eminent legislator,
    congressman, and banker
  • Henry Allison
    Page was the U.S. food commissioner under Herbert Hoover during World
    War One
  • Junius
    (Chris) Raboteau Page became a
    prominent businessman and benefactor of the nearby town of Aberdeen
  • John
    W. Page
    was a distinguished physician
  • Jesse
    Page became a prominent clergyman of the
    Methodist Episcopal Church
  • and Frank
    Page was the founder and executive vice-president of Wachovia Bank in
    Raleigh
    and later chairman of the North Carolina Highway Commission.

 


Select
Page Names

John Page served as
Governor of Virginia from 1802 to 1805. He came from one of the
First Families of Virginia in colonial times.
Sir Frederick Handley Page was
a pioneer of the English aircraft industry and became known as the
father of the heavy bomber.
Anita Page was a famous
Hollywood movie actress during the silent era of the 1920’s.
Satchel Paige was a star
African American baseball pitcher of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Jimmy
Page
from London is an acclaimed guitarist and was the founder
of the Led Zeppelin rock group in the 1970’s.
Larry Page is the co-founder of
the search engine company Google.

Select Page Numbers Today

  • 44,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 39,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 20,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

 

 

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