This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a village named Renwick, eleven miles from Penrith, Cumberland. The placename is first recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Cumberland in 1178 as "Rauenwich", and has two possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from "Hrafn", a personal name and "wic", a farm; hence "hrafn's farm". It may also be composed of the old English pre 7th Century elements "hroefn" meaning raven and "wic" an outlying settlement. "Raven" here refers to the river Raven, used in a transferred sense, to describe a river with dark water; hence "outlying settlement on the river Raven". Emms Renwick, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Renwick, was christened on February 4th 1704 at St. Olave's, Southwark, London and on May 22nd 1709, James Renwick married Grace Halfpenny in St. Mary's Lewisham, London. In the modern idiom the name is also found as Rennick and Rennock. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Renicke, who married Elyzabethe Rumley, which was dated June 10th 1632, in Kirkoswald, Cumberland, during the reign of King Charles 1, "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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