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

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

Today's generation of the Rains family bears a name that was brought to England by the wave of emigration that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the short forms of various Germanic personal names containing the element Ragin, meaning counsel.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Rains have been found, including Raines, Raine, Rayne and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rains research. Another 220 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1280 are included under the topic Early Rains History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Rains Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Rains were among those contributors:

Rains Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Rains, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Rodulf Rains, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1727
  • Peter Rains, who landed in North Carolina in 1764

Rains Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Lewis Rains, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1861
  • Lee Rains, aged 31, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1897

Rains Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Rose Rains, aged 34, who settled in America, in 1904
  • Frances M. Rains, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Katie Rains, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Lous Rains, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • James Edmund Rains, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States from Borrowash, England, in 1910


  • James Edward Rains, American lawyer and brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War
  • Albert McKinley Rains (1902-1991), U.S. Representative from Alabama
  • Emory Rains (1800-1878), American lawyer, judge and political leader in the Republic of Texas
  • Jack Morris Rains (b. 1937), American politician, 95th Secretary of State of Texas
  • Traver Rains (b. 1977), American TV personality and celebrity fashion designer and photographer
  • Gabriel James Rains (1803-1881), American career United States Army officer and a brigadier general
  • Dan Rains (b. 1956), former professional American football player
  • James Edward Rains (1833-1862), American lawyer and general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War
  • James Spencer Rains (1817-1880), American brigadier general of the Missouri State Guard during the American Civil War
  • Claude Rains (1889-1967), English stage and film actor whose career spanned 47 years


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: Judicium parium aut leges terrae
Motto Translation: The judgement of my peers, or the laws of the land.


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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Rains Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rains 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 6 February 2014 at 07:46.

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