Recorded in many forms including Rainy, Rainey, Rany, Rennie, Renny, Rennison, and Renison, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It is or rather was, an endearment form of the original personal name "Reynold", a compound of the Germanic elements "ragin" meaning "counsel", and "wald", rule. This name was first introduced into England by the Viking-Scandinavians of the 8th century, and later reinforced at the time of the Norman Conquest (1066) by the French equivalent "Reinald". Early examples of the surname recordings include Thomas Renie in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire, whilst in 1362, Symon Renny who was recorded as being the bailie of Inverkeithing, Scotland, is believed to be the first known recording in that country. Surname holders as Rany or Rainey held large estates in Angus in the 15th century, whilst the patronymic as Renison or Rennison is recorded in the Glasgow area from the 17th century. Examples of famous nameholders include Sir John Rennie (1761 - 1821), the famous engineer, who was born in East Lothian, Scotland. He designed both Waterloo and London Bridge. The first known recording of the family name is believed to be that of Henry Raney, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Derbyshire". This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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