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

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Reynolds family come from? What is the English Reynolds family crest and coat of arms? When did the Reynolds family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Reynolds family history?

The name Reynolds reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Reynolds family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Reynolds is based on the Norman given name Reginald or Regenweald, meaning brave councilor, which is an alteration of the Old French name Reinold.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Reynolds are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Reynolds include Reynell, Reynolds, Reynold, Reynalds, Reynell, Renaud, Renaut, Renouf, Rennard, Renals, Rennell, Rennels and many more.

First found in Somerset where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Early records of the name mention Willemus filius Raunaldi who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Walter Reynolds (died 1327) was Bishop of Worcester, Archbishop of Canterbury (13131327), Lord High Treasurer and Lord Chancellor.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reynolds research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1191, 1194, 1198, 1327, 1313, 1327, 1588, 1655, 1599, 1676, 1589, 1655, 1624, 1625, 1657, 1655 and 1657 are included under the topic Early Reynolds History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 293 words(21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reynolds Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Reynolds family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Reynolds, or a variant listed above:

Reynolds Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Christopher Reynolds, who came to Virginia in 1622
  • Christopher Reynolds settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Robert Reynolds settled in Salem in 1630 with Mary and his four children
  • Robert Reynolds, who settled in Salem in 1630 with his wife Mary and his four children
  • Henry Reynolds, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1647


Reynolds Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Darby Reynolds, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Edward Reynolds, a convict sent to Annapolis, Maryland in 1719
  • Arnold Reynolds, who arrived in Maryland in 1740

Reynolds Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Agnes Reynolds, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Allen Reynolds, aged 45, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1829
  • David Reynolds, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1830
  • Darius Leverest Reynolds, who landed in Louisiana in 1833
  • Catherine Reynolds, aged 11, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1834


Reynolds Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Cyril Revell Reynolds, who landed in Colorado in 1901

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  • Harold Craig Reynolds (b. 1960), American Major League Baseball player
  • John Reynolds (1788-1865), American politician, Governor of Illinois
  • Debbie Reynolds (b. 1932), born Mary Frances Reynolds, American Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated, Emmy Award winning actress, singer, and dancer
  • Lloyd Reynolds, American Economist
  • Burton Leon "Burt" Reynolds (b. 1936), American Emmy Award, Golden Globe and People's Choice Award winning actor, director and voice artist, probably best known for his roles in the Smokey and the Bandit series, The Longest Yard and White Lightning
  • Frank Reynolds (1923-1983), American television journalist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Richard Joshua "R. J." Reynolds (1850-1918), American businessman and founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Robert "Bobby" Thomas Reynolds (b. 1982), American professional tennis player from Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • Allie Pierce Reynolds (1917-1994), native American Major League Baseball pitcher nicknamed "Superchief"
  • John Fulton Reynolds (1820-1863), United States Army general in the American Civil War who played a key role in committing the Army of the Potomac to the Battle of Gettysburg

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  • The Gilded Leaf: Triumphs, Tragedy, And Tobacco: Three Generations of the R.J. Reynolds Family and Fortune by Patrick Reynolds.
  • Lamshead Before Interwoven: a Texas Range Chronicle, 1848-1878 by France Mayhugh Holden.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Jus meum tuebor
Motto Translation: I will defend my right.

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  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Reynolds Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Reynolds Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 July 2014 at 13:23.

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