Renshell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Renshell belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons. It is a product of their having lived at the village of Ravenshaw, in Warwickshire. Renshell 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 Renshell family
The surname Renshell 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 Renshell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Renshell research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Renshell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Renshell Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Renshell include Renshaw, Ravenshaw, Renshall, Olerenshaw and many more.
Early Notables of the Renshell family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Renshell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Renshell family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Renshell were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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)