Rainwater History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Rainwater is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on the short forms of various Germanic personal names containing the element Ragin, meaning counsel. It it thought that the name could also have been derived from Rennes, in Brittany. [1] However, not all of the family joined the Conqueror as seen by the listing of Warenger Raine in Normandy (1180-1195.) [2]

Phillipe de Rim or De Remi (c. 1246-1296), was long treated by English authorities as an Anglo-Norman poet, to whom were assigned two romances 'La Manekine' and 'Jehan de Dammartin et Blonde d'Oxford.' "Both show a close knowledge of Scottish and English life and topography in the thirteenth century." [3]

Early Origins of the Rainwater family

The surname Rainwater was first found in Essex where Roger Rayne was granted lands at Rayne as companion in arms of William the Conqueror. Other early spellings of the name include De Raines and Raneis. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the following: Alice Reine in Cambridgeshire; John Reyn and Nicholas Reyn in Lincolnshire; Robert de Rennes in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Rennes. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Robert Rayne; Johannes Rayne; Richard Rayneson; and William Rayne. [4]

Early History of the Rainwater family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rainwater research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1280 and 1530 are included under the topic Early Rainwater History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rainwater Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Rainwater have been found, including Raines, Raine, Rayne and others.

Early Notables of the Rainwater family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Reynes ( fl. 1530), an English stationer and bookbinder in London, carried on business at the sign of St...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rainwater Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rainwater migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Rainwater were among those contributors:

Rainwater Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Rainwater, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [5]
Rainwater Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Roscoe Rainwater, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Mrs. R. Rainwater, aged 22, who arrived in America, in 1907
  • Bert Rainwater, aged 18, who arrived in America, in 1918
  • Bert A. Rainwater, aged 22, who arrived in Great Falls, Montana, in 1918
  • Arron Rainwater, aged 60, who arrived in Seattle, Washington, in 1919
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rainwater (post 1700) +

  • Edwin R. Rainwater (b. 1813), American soldier in the Texas Army during the Texas Revolution
  • Richard Edward Rainwater (1944-2015), American investor and fund manager, ranked in the top 1000 richest people in the world in 2010
  • Gregg Andrew Rainwater (b. 1966), Native American actor of Osage, Cherokee, Irish, and Filipino descent
  • Marvin Karlton Rainwater (1925-2013), American country and rockabilly singer
  • Leo James Rainwater (1917-1986), American physicist who won a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1975
  • C. C. Rainwater, American Republican politician, Member, Arrangements Committee, Republican National Convention, 1896 [6]
  • Annette Rainwater, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1984 [6]


The Rainwater Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Judicium parium aut leges terrae
Motto Translation: The judgement of my peers, or the laws of the land.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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