Show ContentsRainbird History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Rainbird family

The surname Rainbird was first found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Rainbertus Flandrensis who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. The name was later recorded in Middlesex.

Early History of the Rainbird family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rainbird research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1608, 1610, 1639, 1642, 1648, 1673 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Rainbird History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rainbird Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Rainbird 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 Rainbird include Rainbird, Raynbird, Rambart, Rambert, Ramart, Rainbold, Rainbow, Rainbold, Renbold, Rainbaud, Rinbalt, Reinbald, Rainbald, Renbald and many more.

Early Notables of the Rainbird family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Rainsborough (ca.1587-1642), an English Captain and Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, English ambassador to Morocco; William Rainsborowe (fl. 1639-1673), or Rainsborough, Rainborough, Rainborowe or Rainbow, a Leveller and an officer in the English Navy and New Model Army in England during the English Civil War and the Interregnum, settler to...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rainbird Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Rainbird migration to the United States +

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 Rainbird, or a variant listed above:

Rainbird Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Rainbird, who settled in America in 1751

Canada Rainbird migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rainbird Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Rainbird, who arrived in Ontario in 1871

Australia Rainbird migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Rainbird Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Rainbird, (b. 1795), aged 29, English farm labourer who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1886 [2]
  • Mr. Charles Rainbird, English convict who was convicted in Herefordshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Mr. Thomas Rainbird, English convict who was convicted in Herefordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]
  • Robert Rainbird, aged 26, a wheelwright, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Anglia" [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Rainbird (post 1700) +

  • Victor Noble Rainbird (1887-1936), British painter, stained glass artist and illustrator

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Convict Records of Australia. Retreived 26th January 2021 from
  3. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 23rd August 2020 from
  4. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ANGLIA 1852. Retrieved on Facebook