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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.


The surname Reiner was 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.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reiner research. Another 177 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1728, 1606, 1647 and 1728 are included under the topic Early Reiner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Prominent among members of the name Reiner in this period include Vincentio (Vincenzio, Vincenzo) Reinieri (Renieri, Reiner) (1606-1647), an Italian mathematician and astronomer, close friend and disciple of...

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Reiner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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 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 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 United States in the 20th Century

  • Conrad Reiner, who landed in Arkansas in 1906

  • Irving Reiner (1924-1986), American mathematician at the University of Illinois who worked on representation theory
  • Jared Thomas Reiner (b. 1982), American former professional basketball player
  • Rob Reiner (b. 1947), American two-time Emmy Award winning actor, director, writer and producer, whose more popular films include "Misery" and "When Harry Met Sally", perhaps best known for his television role as Michael Stivic on "All in the Family", son of Carl Reiner
  • Frederick Martin "Fritz" Reiner (1888-1963), Budapest-born, American early 20th century conductor of opera and symphonic music
  • Carl Reiner (b. 1922), American nine-time Emmy Award winning actor, writer, director, and producer, best known for his role in a comedy duo with Mel Brooks
  • William Reiner, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Bloomfield, 1922
  • Philip Reiner, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 11th District, 1863
  • Max Reiner, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Connecticut 1st District, 1936
  • Lillian Reiner, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York, 1952, 1954, 1976, 1978
  • Joel K. Reiner, American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate, 1857-58, 1861-62
  • ...

  • Ancestors and Descendants of Johann Jacob Reiner and Elsbeth Hitz and Allied Lines by Helen A. Reiner Reed.



    Other References

    1. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
    2. Jones, Henry Z. Palatine Families of New York 2 Volumes. Rockland, ME: Picton Press, 2001. Print. (ISBN 978-0961388829).
    3. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
    4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    5. Rietstap, Johannes Baptist. Armorial Général. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    6. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
    7. Steed, Henry Wickham . The Hapsburg Monarchy. London: Constable and Company, 1919. Print.
    8. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
    9. Bahlow, Hans (Edda Gentry trns). Dictionary of German Names . Madison, Wisconsin: Max Kade Institute, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-924119-35-7).
    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. ...

    This page was last modified on 13 June 2016 at 20:53.

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