This interesting surname derives from a male personal name, introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, as Rainer, Reiner or Renier. The name was adopted into Old French from the originally Old German given name "Raginhari", composed of the elements "ragin", counsel, might, with "heri, hari", army. The Latinized form of the personal name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Rainerus", and in 1101 as "Reynerus". The surname from this source appears in the early 13th Century, as below, and the development includes: William Rayner (1248, Lincolnshire); William Reyner (1286, Staffordshire) and Robert Ranare (1651, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Rayner, Raynor, Rainer, Ranner, Reiner, Reiners, Reyna, Reyner, and Renner. One Thurston Raynor, with his wife Elizabeth and six children, was an early emigrant to New England, leaving Ipswich on the "Elizabeth" in April 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Reygner, which was dated 1229, The Lincolnshire Close Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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