This curious name derives from an Old French personal name "Rainbaut", composed of the German elements "ragin" meaning "counsel", plus "bald", bold or brave . The name was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and it is first recorded in its Latinized form "Raimbaldus" (without surname) in the Winton Rolls of Hampshire, dated 1066. One Rainbaldus Aurifaber appears in the 1086 Domesday Book of Norfolk, and a Rainbaud appears in the 1212 Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire. The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below). In the modern idiom, the name has seven spelling variations: Raybould, Rambaut, Ramble, Rammell, Rimbault, Renbold and Rainbow. One Stephen Rainbow was sheriff of Norwich in 1524. On November 21st 1762, Thomas, son of Thomas and Mary Raybould, was christened in St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Reimbaud, which was dated 1214, in the "Pipe Rolls of Middlesex", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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