This very famous name which merits no less than forty five entries in the British National Biography and holds twenty eight English and Irish coats of arms, is in fact of very early Germanic origins. It is now regarded as Anglo-Saxon pre 7th Century, and was, prior to the 1066 Norman Invasion, a personal name comprising the elements "Ragin" meaning "counsel" and "wald" - "to rule". The first recording of the personal name is as the Latinised "Reginaldus" in the Domesday Book of 1086; the surname being first recorded in the 13th Century. The additive "s" when it occurs indicates the patronymic "son of Reynold". Probably the most interesting Reynold(s) amongst a plethora of Admirals, Bishops, and even Martyrs, was Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) considered the greatest English portrait painter. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Reynold, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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