Show ContentsRainforde History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Rainforde family

The surname Rainforde 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 Rainforde family

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

Rainforde Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Rainford, Rainsford, Raynsford, Raynford, Rayneford and many more.

Early Notables of the Rainforde family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Rainforde family to Ireland

Some of the Rainforde 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.

Migration of the Rainforde family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Rainforde or a variant listed above: Edward and Mrs. Rainsford, and their son Edward, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630; Captain Rainford who settled with his wife and three children in Jamaica in 1774.

  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) on Facebook