Renshall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Renshall is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived at the village of Ravenshaw, in Warwickshire. Renshall 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 Renshall family
The surname Renshall 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 Renshall family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Renshall research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Renshall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Renshall Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Renshall family name include Renshaw, Ravenshaw, Renshall, Olerenshaw and many more.
Early Notables of the Renshall family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Renshall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Renshall family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Renshall surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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)