Recorded as Reinbeck, Reinbech, Rennebeck, Rentenbeck and Rennebach, this surname is of Germanic and Scandanavian origins. Derived from the word "rhein" meaning "flow", as applied to a fast-moving river, and "beck", a branch stream, it is habitational for one who dwelt on a river bank, or more probably was an inhabitant of a village called Reinbeck or Ronnebeck. A village of this name appears in the state records of Brandenburg as early as 1483, although, as is common with many German surnames, baptismal recordings are very much later. The number of varied spellings of the surname suggest that at some date in the early 16th Century the village was "cleared" either by plague, famine, or war, and the then inhabitants scattered. These people then took as their surname the original village name whilst applying for their own variety of spelling. Early examples of recordings include Anna Rennebeck, who married Paulus Paul at Frankenthal, Bayern, on January 19th 1734, whilst in the Danish city of Odense, the first of such recordings being that of Anna Kirstine Reinbeck, who married Lauritz Hyldekiar at Vor Frue, on January 20th 1769. An earlier example is that of Heinrici Rennenbach, which was dated February 26th 1713, a christening witness at Gaubickelheim, Hessen, Germany, during the reign of King Frederick William 1 of Prussia, 1713 - 1740. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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