Rayner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The generations and branches of the Rayner family share a name that has its roots in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name Rayner comes from the baptismal name Rainer, which was taken from the Old Germanic name Raginhari which means counsel and army. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

Early Origins of the Rayner family

The surname Rayner was first found in Herefordshire. The name was first recorded as Raynerus (Rainerus), a tenant in chief in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] A few years later Reynerus cancellarius was listed in Norfolk in 1101-1125 and Ricardus filius Rainer was listed at Winton in Hampshire in 1148. [2] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list the name as a personal name: Reyner le Blake in Norfolk; and Reyner Custance in Norfolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Anabilla Rayner and Thomas Rayner. [3]

Early History of the Rayner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rayner research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1400, 1600, 1668, 1589, 1651, 1589 and 1610 are included under the topic Early Rayner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rayner Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Rayner include Rayners, Rainor, Rayner, Raynor, Rainer, Raynar, Rainyer, Reyner, Rauner, Raener, Rainar, Raynere, Raynars, Raynors, Raynore, Raynare, Raynair and many more.

Early Notables of the Rayner family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Edward Reyner (Rayner) (1600-c.1668), an English nonconforming clergyman, known as a devotional writer, born in the parish of Morley, near Leeds. Tobie Matthew, Archbishop of York, took some notice of him as a boy, and foretold that he would rise to distinction. Reyner escaped from Lincoln during the Royalist Occupation and...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rayner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rayner World Ranking

In the United States, the name Rayner is the 6,424th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4] However, in Australia, the name Rayner is ranked the 471st most popular surname with an estimated 8,009 people with that name. [5] And in New Zealand, the name Rayner is the 671st popular surname with an estimated 1,055 people with that name. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Rayner as 610th with 10,736 people. [7]


United States Rayner migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled 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 ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Rayner or a variant listed above:

Rayner Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mrs. Adam Rayner, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [8]
  • Joan Rayner, who settled in Virginia in 1623 with her husband
  • Joane Rayner, who landed in Virginia in 1624-1625 [8]
  • Wassell Rayner, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [8]
  • Thurston Rayner, aged 13, who landed in New England in 1634 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Rayner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christian Rayner, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763 [8]
Rayner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Augustin Rayner, who arrived in New York in 1826 [8]

Australia Rayner migration to Australia +

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

Rayner Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Rayner, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Mr. Robert Rayner, (b. 1797), aged 26, British Convict who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. William Rayner, (b. 1802), aged 21, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1838 [10]
  • Mr. William Rayner, (b. 1802), aged 25, English weaver who was convicted in York, Yorkshire, England for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Champion" on 24th May 1827, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1831 [11]
  • Mr. Robert Rayner, (b. 1814), aged 16, English farmer who was convicted in Ipswich, Suffolk, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rayner migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Rayner Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Rayner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • Mary Rayner, aged 27, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • William Rayner, aged 1, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • William Rayner, aged 17, a seravnt, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Mr. Rayner, British settler travelling from London via Plymouth aboard the ship "Tasmania" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on to Lyttelton on 26th February 1853 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rayner (post 1700) +

  • David Michael "Dave" Rayner (b. 1982), American football placekicker
  • Samuel Rayner (b. 1850), English water-colour painter, an exhibitor at the Royal Academy and other exhibitions, commencing in 1821
  • Lionel Benjamin Rayner (1788-1855), English actor, born in Heckmondwike in the West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Amy Elizabeth Rayner (b. 1977), birth name of Amy Elizabeth Fearn, an English football referee
  • Michael Rayner (1933-2015), English opera singer, best known for his performances in Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
  • Oliver Philip "Ollie" Rayner (b. 1985), German-born English cricketer
  • Denys Arthur Rayner DSC & Bar, VRD, RNVR (1908-1967), English Royal Navy officer who fought throughout the Battle of the Atlantic and after becasme a successful writer and successful designer and builder of small sailing craft
  • Nicholas Courtauld Rayner (1938-2017), British Army officer with the 11th Hussars and later jewellery expert and auctioneer; head of Sotheby's Geneva office
  • Billy Rayner (1935-2006), Australian rugby league footballer
  • Anthony Edward Charles "Eddie" Rayner (b. 1952), New Zealand musician
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Rayner, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [14]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  10. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  11. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 18th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/champion)
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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