This interesting name of German origin derives from a number of possible sources. Firstly, it may be a German topographical name for someone who lived in a clearing or an occupational name for a clearer of woodland, from the middle High German word "(ge)riute", clearing. The name may also have originated as a derogatory nickname, from the middle High German "riutoere", a highwayman. Finally, the name may also have come from the German words "ritter", "rutter", a rider or trooper, a name given to mercenary soldiers engaged in the Brabont regiment. Thomas le Renter was recorded in the Rolls of Parliament. Thomas le Roitour was listed in the Close Rolls in 1377 during the reign of Edward 111. Thomas Rutter was christened at the church of St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London on December 8th 1566. Baron Paul Julius Von Reuter (1816 - 1899), founder of the news agency which still bears his name was born Jisroel-Ber Josafat. He changed his name on being baptised a christian in 1844 but it is not known why he adopted the surname Renter. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Rotour, which was dated 1328, Kirby's Quest for Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 111, "Father of the Navy", 1328 - 1377. 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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