Recorded in several forms including Ranvoise, Renvoise, Renvoisie, and Renvoys, this is a French surname of ancient origins. Translating as happy or joyful, it is, or rather was, either a child's baptismal name, or possibly in later medieval times, it may have been a nickname for a happy person, or perhaps given the robust humour of those times, the complete reverse! Surnames from nicknames form one of the largest groupings of modern surnames, and in or about the 14th century, such names were often the only means of distinguishing people in the communities of those days. Many of these nickname surnames were rude or even obscene, and in the gentler atmosphere of later times, were gradually replaced by more acceptable spellings. This surname however would seem to be an 'original'. Unfortunately the majority of early church registers for France were destroyed in the famous Revolution of 1792. These records were regarded by many as instruments of the secret police of the monarch, and were the first to be burnt. As a result few recordings of births, deaths and marriages are to be found before that date. In this case we have found a number of examples and these include Charles Renvoy, who married Marie Bertrand at the village of Saint-Martin Hannogne, in the Ardennes, on August 3rd 1774, and that of Pierre Renvoise who married Celine Aubry at Saint Germain-en-Laye, in the departement of Seine-Oise, on September 12th 1867.
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