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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The surname Rainbolt 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
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.

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Rainbird, Raynbird, Rambart, Rambert, Ramart, Rainbold, Rainbow, Rainbold, Renbold, Rainbaud, Rinbalt, Reinbald, Rainbald, Renbald and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rainbolt research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1642, 1639, 1673, 1608, 1684, 1610 and 1648 are included under the topic Early Rainbolt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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...

Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rainbolt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World 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 stormy Atlanti c. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Rainbolt or a variant listed above:

Rainbolt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Ludowick Rainbolt, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1764

  • William Rainbolt, American Associate Professor, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany
  • Steven Rainbolt, American recipient of the Peabody 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award
  • George Rainbolt, American Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. 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.
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Rainbolt Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Rainbolt 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 4 March 2016 at 19:53.

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