Reynolds (surname)

Reynolds (surname)

There are two major lineages of the Reynolds surname, Irish and English.

Irish Reynolds

The Irish Reynolds ancestral line is the most common of the Reynolds inhabitants in the United States. A Gaelic name, it's usually anglicized from the common English one. In Irish, it is MacRaghnaill, which derives from the Gaelic of Randal or Reginald. The Reynolds surname originates in and around County Leitrim, where the name was rather influential prior to the seventeenth century. Throughout Ireland's rich history, the Reynolds family name was a prominent one and even today, County Leitrim is still the principal stronghold of the name, nearly half the people in Ireland so called hailing from that area.

As with many Irish families, the Reynolds began emigrating from Ireland in two fronts, early on in America's history, as they settled in the northeast prior to the American Revolution and during the "Great Irish Famine", where millions of Irish Catholics came to North America.

Some more known Irish Reynolds.

* Dan Reynolds (1960-), Irish descendant American cartoonist
* Gerry Reynolds (1961-), Irish politician
* Albert Reynolds (1932-), eight Taoiseach of the Ireland and fifth leader of Fianna Fáil
* Alan Reynolds (1974-), retired Irish footballer and now assistant with Derry City F.C
* Patrick J. Reynolds (1920-2003), Irish politician who served three terms in Dáil Éireann and five in Seanad Éireann, where he was Cathaoirleach (speaker) for four years
* Patrick Reynolds (1887-1932), father of Patrick J. Reynolds and an Irish Cumann na nGaedhael politician
* Noel Reynolds (?-1997), was a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin and self-confessed paedophile
* James Henry Reynolds (1844-1932), was a famous soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross
* Osborne Reynolds (1842-1912), Irish physicist and engineer
* Mark Reynolds (1984-), Irish basketball player

English Reynolds

The name Reynolds reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Reynolds family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Reynolds is based on the Norman given name Reginald or Regenwald, meaning brave councilor, which is an alteration of the Old French name Reinold. The surname Reynolds' latin translation is 'By God's Favour'
Manuscript records like the Domesday Book ‎(compiled in 1086 by William the Conqueror)‎, the Inquisitios, the Ragman Rolls, the Wace poem, the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, The Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, tax records, baptismals, family genealogies, and local parish and church records, show that the first record of the name Reynolds was found in Somerset where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Early records of the name mention Willemus filius Raunaldi who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The name, Reynolds, appeared in many references, but from time to time, spellings included Reynell (surname), Reynolds, Reynold, Reynalds, Reinell, Renaud, Renaut, Renouf, Rennard, Renals, Rennell, Rennels, Rennoll and many more. Scribes recorded and spelled the name as it sounded. Hence, a person would appear to be born with one spelling, married with another, and buried with still another.

Mistakenly, the Normans are often given as having French origins but, originally, they were Vikings. These Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 870 A.D., under their Chief, Stirgud the Stout. Later, under their Jarl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 911 A.D. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Duke William, who invaded and defeated England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, was descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

Reynolds emerged as a notable family name in the county of Somerset where Sir Richard Reynell (d.1194) was seated at Pitney and was given custody of the Castles at Exeter and Launceston by King Richard I when he went to the Holy Land in 1191. During the same period Godfrey, Robert and Torketil Renoldus were registered in Normandy, in 1198. Meanwhile many of the junior branches had joined Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke in the invasion of Ireland where they became the Earls of Cavan, of Lisburne, of Mountmorris. In England the main line was forfeited but Sir Richard's son recovered the lands and became the Earl of Devon. This distinguished west country family also branched to other locations in England mostly under the name Reynolds. Outstanding amongst the family at this time was the Baronets Reynell, and Sir Joshua Reynolds, a painter. Walter Reynolds ‎(d. 1327)‎ was the son of a Windsor baker, who became the favourite of King Edward II; he made the Archbishop of Canterbury ‎(1313-1327)‎.

The surname Reynolds contributed much to the affairs of England or Scotland. During the 12th century many of these Norman families moved north to Scotland in the train of the Earl of Huntington, later to become King David of Scotland.

In Ireland, settlers became known as the "Adventurers for land." They "undertook" to keep the Protestant faith, and were granted lands previously held by the Irish. This family migrated to Ireland during two periods, first with the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, and later, in the 17th century giving rise to the Reynells of Reynell castle. In some cases it is difficult to distinguish early migrants from native Irish Reynolds who derive their name from McRannell, formerly spelt as "Mac Ragnaill".

Many made the arduous journey to the New World. Among settlers to North America bearing the family name Reynolds were Henry, Samuel, Thomas Reynold settled in the Barbados in 1688; Christopher Reynolds settled in Virginia in 1622; Nathaniel Reynold settled in Salem in 1630; Robert Reynolds settled in Salem in 1630 with Mary and his four children; Cornelius, Edward, George, Hannah, James, Mary, Nicholas, Richard Reynolds also settled in Virginia. From the port of arrival many settlers joined the wagon trains westward. During the American War of Independence some declared their loyalty to the Crown and moved northward into Canada and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.

From recent history, notable bearers of the Reynolds surname include: John Reynolds ‎(1788-1865)‎, American politician, Governor of Illinois; James Clark McReynolds ‎(1862-1946)‎, U.S. Attorney General ‎(1913-14)‎ and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court ‎(1914-41)‎; Albert Reynolds ‎(b.1935)‎, Irish politician, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland ‎(1992-95)‎; Debbie Reynolds ‎(b.1932)‎, American actress and singer; Harold Craig Reynolds ‎(b.1960)‎, American Major League Baseball player; Christopher Reynolds, Australian Archbishop of Adelaide ‎(1873-1893)‎; Lloyd Reynolds, American Economist; as well as Burt Reynolds ‎(b.1936)‎, American actor.

The Motto for the Coat of Arms translates as: I will defend my right.

Motto reads in Latin: Jus meum tuebor

contribution = Reynolds Genealogy
title = Certificate # 2866620073062
publisher = Swyrich Corp.
year = 1998 - 2007


People with entries in Wikipedia whose family name is or was Reynolds include:


*George Reynolds - there are many people named George Reynolds
*John Reynolds - there are many people named John Reynolds
*James Reynolds - there are many people named James Reynolds
*Thomas Reynolds - there are many people named Thomas Reynolds.
*William Reynolds - there are many people named William Reynolds


*David P. Reynolds (b. 1915), Chairman of Reynolds Metals, Thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder
*George Reynolds (b. 1937), British businessman
*Richard S. Reynolds, Sr. (1881-1955), founder of Reynolds Metals
*Richard S. Reynolds, Jr. (1908-1980), President of Reynolds Metals
*R. J. Reynolds (1850-1918), founder of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
*William Neal Reynolds (1863-1951), U.S. tobacco manufacturer and sportsman
*Charles A. Reynolds (1848-1936), U.S. politician
*John Reynolds (born 1942), Canadian politician
*John Reynolds (1788-1865), U.S. politician
*John Hazard Reynolds (1819-1875), U.S. politician
*John Merriman Reynolds (1848-1933), U.S. politician
*Mel Reynolds (born 1952), U.S. politician
*Robert Rice Reynolds (1884-1963), U.S. politician
*Thomas M. Reynolds (born 1950), U.S. politician

Drama and Television

*Burt Reynolds (born 1936), U.S. actor
*Debbie Reynolds (born 1932), U.S. actress
*Gene Reynolds (born 1924), U.S. actor, writer, and producer / director
* James Reynolds (born 1950), U.S. actor
*John Reynolds (1941-1966), U.S. actor
*Norman Reynolds, British Academy Award winning art director
*Ryan Reynolds (born 1976), Canadian actor
*William Reynolds (born 1923), U.S. actor

Literature and Journalism

*Alastair Reynolds (born 1966), Welsh science fiction author
*Frank Reynolds (1923-1983), journalist for ABC
*James Reynolds (born 1973), BBC correspondent
*Mack Reynolds (1917-1983), U.S. pulp science fiction magazine author
*Mark Reynolds (born 1969), Daily Express correspondent


*Malvina Reynolds (1900-1978), American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist
*Pam Reynolds, an American musician who had a famous near-death experience
*Roger Reynolds (born 1934), U.S. composer
*Simon Reynolds, British music critic
*Tim Reynolds, Guitarist
*Roughton "Rou" Reynolds, Lead Singer/Electronics in Enter Shikari an English Post-Hardcore band


* Allie Reynolds (1917-1994), Major League Baseball pitcher
* Andrew Reynolds (born 1978), professional skateboarder
* Bobby Reynolds (born 1982), American tennis player
* Carl Reynolds (1903-1978), Major League Baseball outfielder
* Craig Reynolds (born 1952), Major League Baseball shortstop
* Dean Reynolds (born 1963), English professional snooker player
* Harold Reynolds (born 1960), Major League Baseball second baseman
* Jack Reynolds (born 1869), English footballer
* Jack Reynolds (born 1881), English footballer
* Jack Reynolds (born 1947), American football player (Rams + 49ers)
* Mark Reynolds (born 1955), American Olympic sailor
* Mark Reynolds (born 1983), Major League Baseball third baseman
* Mark Reynolds (born 1984), Irish professional Basketball player
* Mark Reynolds (born 1987), Scottish footballer
* Shane Reynolds (born 1968), Major League Baseball pitcher
* Tommie Reynolds (born 1941), Major League Baseball outfielder
* Reynolds cycling team, Spanish professional cycling team.


*Alexander W. Reynolds (1816-1876), American Army officer & Confederate general
*Brian Reynolds (1967-), computer strategy game designer
*Charlie Reynolds (1865-1964), American major league baseball player
*Charley Reynolds (1842-1876), U.S. Army scout killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn
*Craig Reynolds, computer graphics expert
*Debby Reynolds, former UK Chief Veterinary Officer
*Douglas Reynolds (1882-1916), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
*Hiram Reynolds (1854-1938), General Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene
*Joseph J. Reynolds (1822-1899), U.S. Army general in the Civil War and Black Hills War
*John F. Reynolds (1820-1863), U.S. Army general in the Civil War, killed at Gettysburg
*Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), English painter
*Joyce K. Reynolds, computer science professor
*Osborne Reynolds (1842-1912), Irish physicist and engineer
*RD Reynolds American professional wrestling author and website operator
*Walter Reynolds (died 1327), Archbishop of Canterbury
*William Reynolds (1827-1869), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
*William F. Reynolds (1860-1944), the second Commandant of the United States Coast Guard

Fictional characters

*Caroline Reynolds, a character from the television series "Prison Break"
*Malcolm Reynolds, a character from the television series "Firefly"
*Kate Reynolds, a fictional character from the movie "The Family Man"
*Dennis, Deandra and Frank Reynolds, fictional characters who own an Irish pub in the TV series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

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