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

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

The history of the Renforth family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in the chapelry of Rainford in the parish of Prescot in Lancashire. The surname Renforth is a habitation name which forms a broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. In this case the surname Renforth was originally derived from the Old English Regnaforde which refers to those individuals who lived by the ford. However, there is also evidence that the name in fact referred to Danish settlers, who came from Randers Fiord, Denmark.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Renforth include Rainford, Rainsford, Raynsford, Raynsforde, Reinsford, Reinsforde, Raynesford, Rainesford, Rainesforde, Ranford, Ranforde, Randsford, Randford, Randeford and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they were found since ancient times, perhaps even predating the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Early records, and the church cemetery show bearers of the name in Little Crosby, Lancashire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Renforth research. Another 403 words(29 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1469, 1933, 1605, 1680, 1660, 1663, 1632, 1690, 1652, 1709, 1700 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Renforth History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 177 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Renforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Renforth family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 91 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Renforth or a variant listed above: Edward Rainsford and his wife, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; Captain Rainford, who settled in Jamaica in 1774, with his wife and three children.

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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Renforth Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Renforth 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 16 September 2013 at 13:51.

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