Renshow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Renshow name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived at the village of Ravenshaw, in Warwickshire. Renshow 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 Renshow family

The surname Renshow was first found in Lancashire where the first on record was Stephen de Ravenshagh, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332. [1] However, another source claims the family were from Ravenshaw, "some small but, I fear, lost spot in East Cheshire." [2]

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. [2]

Early History of the Renshow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Renshow research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Renshow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Renshow Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Renshow has undergone many spelling variations, including Renshaw, Ravenshaw, Renshall, Olerenshaw and many more.

Early Notables of the Renshow family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Renshow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Renshow family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. 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 Renshow were among those contributors: 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..



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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