This very unusual surname is first recorded in the Annals of the Duchy of Cornwall. All early recordings seem to come from the West Country, and it is likely that this spelling as Rew(e) is due to local dialect. Like the surname 'Row(e)' it derives from the Olde English 'raew' and literally describes one who lived by or at a row of houses, or some feature of the landscape which was formed in a straight line. A village called Rewe, first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, exists in Devon, and was given the name for the same reasons, and in turn is the place of origination of many nameholders. A similar surname popular in the West Country is Holloway, which means one who lived by a roadside which was hollowed out. Examples of the name recordings include William in Therew, found in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls for Somerset, John atte Rew, in Kirbys Quest (1377), whilst John Rewe appears in the Register of Oxford University for the year 1603, and in 1789 Alexander Rew married Elizabeth Wright at St Georges Church, Hanover Square, London. The Coat of Arms of Rew is a silver field, on a black bend cotised, three silver mullets. The colours of Silver and Black are very specific to the West Country, and the arms 'translate' as meaning sincerity in command, whilst owning little in the way of lands. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert atte Rewe, which was dated 1297, The Rolls of the Duchy of Cornwall, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as '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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • rew's — bech·te·rew s; …   English syllables

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