Renshal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Renshal is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived at the village of Ravenshaw, in Warwickshire. Renshal is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English words used to refer to those individuals who lived near the raven wood, indicating that the original bearers lived near a forest that was occupied by many ravens.
Early Origins of the Renshal family
The surname Renshal was first found in Lancashire where the first on record was Stephen de Ravenshagh, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332.  However, another source claims the family were from Ravenshaw, "some small but, I fear, lost spot in East Cheshire." 
We are somewhat cautious about the last author's claim as the first record of the family in Cheshire was relatively late: Sir Ralphe Raynshae, vicar of Potte in 1548, more that two hundred years after the aforementioned first listing in 1332. But from the 1548 listing, there are numerous listings in East Cheshire in the 16th and 17th centuries including those found in the Wills at Chester: John Ravenshaw, of Walkerton in 1673; John Rainshaw, of Sale, 1647; John Renshaw, yeoman, of Mobberley, 1661; John Renshall, of Sale, 1679; Ralph Renshall, of Mobberley, 1680; and Richard Renshaw, of Sale, 1680. 
Early History of the Renshal family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Renshal research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Renshal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Renshal Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Renshal has been recorded under many different variations, including Renshaw, Ravenshaw, Renshall, Olerenshaw and many more.
Early Notables of the Renshal family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Renshal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Renshal family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Renshal or a variant listed above: Henry Renshaw, who settled in Virginia in 1763 with his wife Isabella; Christopher Renshaw arrived in Philadelphia in 1750; David, Francis, Hugh, James, William Renshaw all arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1870..
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)