This ancient Scottish surname is one of those which have managed for centuries to avoid the limelight. Indeed they could almost be described as one of the 'lost tribes of Britain', so quiet have they been over the centuries. The Rintoul and Rentoul nameholders derive their name from a place originally known as 'the lands of Rintoul, in the parish of Orwell, Kinrossshire'. It is said that the early charters refer to an 'enclosed estate' which between the years 1362 and 1640, bore the name 'Rentoule', but few surname recordings are to be found from the period. What is certain is that the surname when eventually it was recorded, more than most has an epicentre, in this case at the villages of Orwell and Cleish, in Kinross. It would seem that even in a country such as Scotland where the clan life tended to keep the families 'at home', and to take precedence over everything else, the Rintoul's were even more secluded. It is said that some Rintouls claim Huguenot descent, but this does not seem likely. The name, at least not in this spelling, does not appear to be recorded in France, but in any case the dates of charters preceed the Huguenot period by at least two hundred years. Examples of the surname recordings include John Rintoul, who married Martha Rid at Orwell on December 20th 1695, Abraham Rintoul, who married Margrett Stedman at Cleish, Kinross, on December 23rd 1763, and David Rentoul, christened at Cleish, on April 26th 1767. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander Rentowle, which was dated 1642, the records of the county of Kinross, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as '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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