Recorded in the spellings of Ren, Renac, Renak, (French, Croation, & German), Renachowski and Renakowna (Polish and German), this is a surname whose origins and meaning are very confused. It is certainly locational and depending on the spellings has derived either from the French town of Renac, between Paris and Orleans, or from the pre 7th century river name 'Rhein', which appears as an element in many surnames, as well as being recorded as a surname in its own right. The surname as Renac or Renak is quite well recorded in early surviving church registers of France. One of the first examples being that of Marie Renac, who married Joseph d'Lorre at the village of Blamont in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, on July 9th 1753. The earliest example of the name recordings in any spelling is possibly that of Simon Reneke, given as being a burgess of Sommerfeld, in the fomer state of Brandenburg, Germany, in 1453. Other examples taken from the rolls, charters, and registers of the various countries and states as they existed in 1860 include: Johannes Ren of Landau in the state of Bayern, on August 30th 1566, Johannes Petri Renac, who married Barbara Drovard at Bacharac Roman Catholic church, in the Rheinland, on March 2nd 1802, and Johan Renachowski, who married Christine Drews, at Danzig, West Prussia, on July 17th 1853. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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