REINHART Family History
Recorded in some forty spelling forms from Reynard, Reinhard, Renhard and Reignard, to Reinaert, Raardot, and Reintsema, this interesting surname is ultimately of pre 7th century Germanic origins. However spelt it derives from the male personal name "Raginhard", composed of the elements "ragin", meaning counsel, with "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The given names "Rainardi" and "Rainart" are noted in the Domesday Book of Norfolk (1086). This name was borne by the cunning fox in the popular medieval cycle of beast-tales, with the result that from the 13th Century the Old French "goupil", fox, was replaced by the modern form "renard", fox.