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This ancient scottish name is a locational surname deriving from the place called
Renton in the parish of Coldingham, in the former county of Berwickshire. The
place name means "settlement associated with Raigen or Rein", from a shortened
form of various Old English pre 7th Century compound personal names with the
first element "regen", govern with "tun", homestead settlement. The Rentons of
Renton were hereditary foresters of Coldingham in the reign of William the Lion
and the Richard Renton recorded below is also recorded as "Ricardus Forestarius".

The Rentons were an influential family of burgess in Berwick during the 14th Century.
In the 15th Century the family terminated in the direct line in a daughter
who married Ellem of Ellomsford. Robert de Renton witnessed a charter by Herbert
,Abbot of Kelso, in the year 1225. Simon of Rennyngton, burgess of Jedburgh, rendered homage in 1296.

John de Rainton or Rayneton, burgess and collector of customs in Berwick from
1325, received a charter of lands in Kirklambirton in circa 1332. One William, son
of William and Elspeth Renton, was christened at Corkburnspath, Berwickshire on December 6th 1668.
David Rayntoun de Billy, witness in 1473 is probably the D. Rantoun who
appears in 1479 as attorney for David Hume of Wedderburn.

Isobel Renton was a religious of N. Berwick in 1548. Thomas Rentoun rendered to
the Exchequer the accounts of the bailies of N.Berwick in 1557, and Archibald
Rantoun was a notary public in 1561.

Renton, in the parish of Cardross, Dumbartonshire (Raintown 1429, Ranton
1464, Rayntoune 1500, Rentoun and Rentoune 1431) was named after Celilia Renton of Lammerton, who married a Smollett of Bonhill.
The town was founded in 1782 by Mrs Smollett of Bonhill.

Simeon of Durham tells us that the father of one of the bearers of the body of St. Cuthbert
in its wanderings was Reingualdus-"a quo illa quam condiderat villa Reiningtun est appellata".
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ricardus de Reningtona,
which was dated circa 1190, Historical Manuscripts of Scotland.
During the reign of King William the Lion, King of Scotland, 1165-1214.

Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as the Poll Tax.

Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Note: The town of Renton is in the parish of Cardross,
Dumbartonshire, 3 miles NW of Dumbarton (Pop. in 1968 was 2472).

A Short History of the Renton Surname.

The name originates in a place name in the parish of Coldingham in Berwickshire, Scotland,
(of which more anon) meaning the "tun" or town of Reagen or Rein, a shortened from of the Old English personal name Raegenweald.
The Rentons of Renton were hereditary foresters of Coldingham in the reign of William the Lion,
and Ricardus forestarius appears in record as Ricardus de Reningtona.
In the fourteenth century the Rentons were an influential family of burgesses in Berwick.
During the fifteenth century the direct line ended in a daughter who married Ellem of Ellemsford.
The town of Renton in the parish of Cardross, Dumbartonshire, was named from Celia Renton of Lammerton
who married Smollett of Bonhill, the town was founded in 1782 by Mrs Smollett of Bonhill.
The hamlet of Renton near Coldingham has now disappeared though it could still be found in the 1881 Census
as a cluster of cottages, a school, smithy and grocers shop centred around the Renton Mansion House.
Despite its name the mansion was in the possession of the Stirling family,
though a 13 year old John Renton was employed there as a groom.

More Renton History
RENTON, a village, in the parish of Cardross, county of Dumbarton, 3 miles (N. by W.) from Dumbarton; containing 2472 inhabitants.
This is a considerable and prosperous village, situated in the eastern quarter of the parish,
on the west bank of the Leven, and on the high road from Dumbarton to Luss.
It was founded in 1782, by Mrs. Smollett, of Bonhill, and named by her after her daughter-in-law, Miss Renton, of Bridgend, a suburb of Dumbarton.
The population are chiefly engaged in the bleachfields and other works of this large manufacturing district;
and at the Dalquhurn factory, in the immediate neighbourhood, about 300 hands are employed in calico printing and dyeing,
particularly a Turkey red in the latter branch, for which this establishment is remarkable.
The pure water and powerful stream of the Leven are peculiarly adapted for the works so extensively carried on here.
In the village are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and Old-Light Burghers, and a chapel
in connexion with the Associate Presbytery: there is also a school erected by subscription among the farmers.
Tobias Smollett was born at the old house of Dalquhurn, close by the village, on the 19th of March, 1721.

From: 'Renton - Ross & Cromarty', A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 416-30.

The History of Renton Estate