This unusual name is of English locational origin, and is found mainly in the north of England and in Scotland. The source for the name is the place called 'Renwick', in Cumberland. The placename is first recorded in 1178 as 'Ravenwich', and has two possible meanings, it can mean 'Hraefn's dwelling-place, village, or farm, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name 'Hraefn' meaning 'raven' and used in the tranferred sense of someone with very black hair, plus 'wic', a dwelling, village, or outlying (dairy) farm. The other interpretation is 'farm on the River Raven', so called from the dark appearance of the water. There are three modern-day spellings of the name, 'Renwick, Rennick, and Rennicks' - the latter form meaning 'of Renwick'. 'Henry Rennicks' was christened at Newlands by Keswick in June 1824. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Renicke, married Elizabeth Rumley, which was dated 10th May 1632, at Kirkoswald, Cumberland, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as the Martyr, 1625 - 1649. 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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