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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Reiner family come from? When did the Reiner family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Reiner family history?

Bavaria, Germany is the original homeland of the Reiner family. Reiner is a patronymic name, a type of surname that derived from the given name of the father of the original bearer. Reiner was derived from the Old Germanic personal name Raginhari, which is composed of the Old German elements ragin, which means counsel, and hard, which means hardy.

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Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Reiner include Reiner, Reine, Reinere, Rhiner, Reiners, Rainer, Rainers, Rainert, Rainere, Renerus (Latin) and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where the name became noted for its many branches within the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied and enrolled by the princes of the region. Chronicles first mention Reinerus Reynberti of Rostolk around 1280. The Latin "Renerus" also became "Reinher" from which "Reinhard" was formed. In their later history the Reiners became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reiner research. Another 159 words(11 lines of text) covering the year 1728 is included under the topic Early Reiner History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 35 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reiner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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German settlers were among the most common to come to North America between the mid-17th and mid-20th centuries. Poverty and religious persecution drove many Bavarians to make this long trek. tenant farmers were also enticed by the prospect of owning land. From east to west, these German immigrants populated the United States, settling in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Ontario and the prairie provinces of Canada also provided homes to many. Early settlers bearing the Reiner surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Reiner Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hans Jung Reiner, who landed in New York in 1709
  • Friedrich Reiner, who came to Philadelphia in 1730
  • Valentin Reiner arrived in Philadelphia in 1748
  • Valentin Reiner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1748
  • Georg Reiner came to Philadelphia in 1749


Reiner Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Adam Reiner, aged 46, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Alois Reiner, aged 15, landed in New York in 1854
  • Apollonia Reiner, aged 17, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Haver Reiner, aged 7, arrived in New York in 1854
  • Magdale Reiner, aged 22, landed in New York in 1854


Reiner Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Conrad Reiner, who landed in Arkansas in 1906

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  • Carl Reiner (b. 1922), American actor, writer, director, and producer
  • Rob Reiner (b. 1947), son of Carl, also a prominent American actor, director, writer and producer, whose more popular films include "Misery" and "When Harry Met Sally"
  • Frederick Martin "Fritz" Reiner (1888-1963), American early 20th century conductor
  • Markus Reiner (1886-1976), Engineer and scientist, one of the founders of rheology


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  • Ancestors and Descendants of Johann Jacob Reiner and Elsbeth Hitz and Allied Lines by Helen A. Reiner Reed.
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  1. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  2. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  3. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  4. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Journeys German Immigration, Settlement and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  5. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
  6. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
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This page was last modified on 2 October 2013 at 08:57.

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