Show ContentsRheims History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Rheims surname is of Norman origin, thought to be derived from the place name Rames in Seine-Inférieure, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Rheims family

The surname Rheims was first found in Essex where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Metinges. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Metinge and the lands of Ramesdune in Suffolk, where Roger de Rames was an under-tenant who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. The Rames castle in Normandy was near the forest, west of Bolbec. Roger was given considerable lands in England and directly related to the Mandevilles and the d'Estouteville.

Early History of the Rheims family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rheims research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1260 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Rheims History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rheims Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Rheims are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Rheims include Raimes, Rames, Reams, Ramis, Raimis, Reymes, Rheims, Rhymes and many more.

Early Notables of the Rheims family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Rheims family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Rheims, or a variant listed above: Thomas Reames, who settled in Virginia in 1638; Joa. Reams, who came to Virginia in 1681; Mary Reymes, who arrived in Virginia in 1669; and Patrick Reymes, who arrived in New York in 1812..

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. George Alexander Lucien Rheims, aged 36, French First Class passenger from Paris, France who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat A [2]

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook