Show ContentsRainfyrth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Rainfyrth family

The surname Rainfyrth 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 Rainfyrth family

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

Rainfyrth Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Rainford, Rainsford, Raynsford, Raynford, Rayneford and many more.

Early Notables of the Rainfyrth family

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

Ireland Migration of the Rainfyrth family to Ireland

Some of the Rainfyrth 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 Rainfyrth family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Rainfyrth or a variant listed above were: 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