This is an English locational name which derives originally from the village of Rainford in Lancashire. The origin of the village name is obsure but it believed to derive from 'Regha's Ford', with 'Regna' being a personal name of Olde English Norse Viking origins. After the Norman Invasion of 1066, the village name is recorded as Raineford or Reineford, and these are the sources of the modern surname development. The recordings include Margaret Rainforth of Winstanley, Cheshire in 1612, Annis Ranford of Clerkenwell in 1625, Elizabeth Renyesforth, St. Dionis Backchurch 1581, and John Renforth who married Sarah Dalton, at St. Brides, Fleet Street in 1711. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Rainsforde, which was dated 1578, christened at St. Margarets, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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.
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