Recorded as Ranowden, Renoden, Rennoden, and Renowden, this is a very rare surname. It is clearly locational from some place probably in the north of England, although this is not proven, as no such name in anywhere near the surname spellings has been found. The construction of the name suggests that it may be a derivative of the pre 7th century 'Hrinde-denu' meaning the valley with the torrent, or fast flowing river, or perhaps Randi - denu', meaning Randi's valley, with Randi being an Olde Scandanavian (Viking) personal name. Some five thousand surname of the British Isles are believed to originate from now 'lost' medieval villages, the subject of a number of books, and this certainly appears to be a further example. In addition, locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved somewhere else. As over the centuries spellings has been at best indifferent, and local accents very thick, this has lead to the creation of 'sounds like' spellings. Examples of the surname recordings have been found in early surviving registers of South Wales. These include John Rennoden and his wife Anne at Neath on June 30th 1816, when their daughter Elizabeth was christened, and Thomas Ranowden and his wife Hannah at Merthyr Tydfil on March 18th 1847.
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