This famous Channel Islands name is found recorded almost equally in Guernsey and Jersey from at least the end of the 16th Century (see below). It is believed to be a development of the French "Renaux", itself a derived form of the pre 9th Century German personal name "Raginwald", and found in the modern English surname Reynold. The elements of the original name translate as "ragin", meaning counsel, and "wald", to rule; this form of compound personal name was very popular in the pre-surname period as it allowed countless combinations. The Coat of Arms of Renouf, apparently granted by Charles 11 as a reward for assistance given in his escape from the Parliamentary Forces in 1645, is a red field, a cross fitchee above a sandglass, between six knights' spurs in silver. This suggests the interpretation that honour and glory comes to he who waits. The name recordings include: Robert and Jeanne (nee Hue), parents of Jean Renouf, who was christened at St. Sampson's, Guernsey, on November 26th 1668, whilst on November 20th 1862, John Stephen Renouf, the son of John and Betsy, formerly Le Page, was christened at St. Andrew's, Guernsey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Renouf, which was dated September 18th 1592, a christening witness at St. Saviour's, Jersey, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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