Show ContentsRainford History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Rainford family

The surname Rainford was first found in Lancashire at Rainford, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Prescot, hundred of West Derby. [1]

The early history of this name is obscure since there wasn't a Rainford recorded in Lancashire at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086. The earliest record of the name was Raineford, which was listed in Merseyside in 1198. At that time, the place name literally meant "ford of a man called Regna, or boundary ford." [2].

They are descended from Rayne, in Essex, which was held in 1086, before and after, by the Bishop of London. Rayne was also held by Roger de Raismes, a companion in Arms to William Duke of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings, and from this latter noble we can assume they moved north into Lancashire. Roger was from the Castle of Rames in Normandy to the west of Bolbec, in the arrondisement of Havre. The family retained their ties with Essex as we shall see.

William de Reynford was listed in Lancashire in 1246 as was John Raynford in the Assize Rolls there in 1401. [3]

Early History of the Rainford family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rainford research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1350, 1550 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Rainford History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rainford Spelling Variations

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 Rainford, Rainsford, Raynsford, Raynford, Rayneford and many more.

Early Notables of the Rainford family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Rainford Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Rainford family to Ireland

Some of the Rainford family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Rainford migration to the United States +

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 Atlantic. 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 Rainford or a variant listed above:

Rainford Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Randall Rainford, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [4]

Australia Rainford migration to Australia +

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

Rainford Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Rainford, (b. 1815), aged 16, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Exmouth" on 3rd March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1879 [5]
  • Mr. John Rainford, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]

West Indies Rainford migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [7]
Rainford Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Captain Rainford who settled with his wife and three children settled in Jamaica in 1774
  • Captain Rainford, who settled in Jamaica in 1774, with his wife and three children

Contemporary Notables of the name Rainford (post 1700) +

  • David John Rainford (b. 1979), English footballer
  • Robert Rainford (b. 1966), Canadian chef and host of Licence to Grill
  • John Rainford (b. 1961), former British vice-president at Symantec
  • Phil Rainford, former British singer and music producer, who formed part of the Manchester music scene
  • Simone Rainford (b. 1975), British female R&B singer

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022).
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  7. on Facebook