Saturday, April 2, 2011

Surname Saturday - Ranney

Last November, I did a Surname Saturday post on my family surname "Ranney."  You can find that post here.  Recently I came across some interesting information about the name, or word, "Ranney" in, of all places, the Webster's Online Dictionary.

Date:  Ranney was first used in popular English literature sometime before 1800. 

Common Expressions:  Ranney School - Established in 1960, Ranney School is a lower, middle, and high school in Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

Specialty Expressions:

Ranney collector - (Agriculture domain) This water collector is constructed as a dug well from 12 to 16 feet (3.5 to 5 m) in diameter that has been sunk as a caisson near the bank of a river or lake. Screens are driven radially and approximately horizontally from this well into the sand and the gravel deposits underlying the river.

Image courtesy of

Ranney well - A variation of strainer well; in this case the strainers are driven horizontally in the water-bearing strata, radiating from a central sump or tube well. This enables tapping of a shallow depth of aquifer.

Texas petroleum engineer Leo Ranney drilled horizontally for oil in the early 1920s. The first Ranney collector for water was installed in London in 1933. Hundreds of Ranney collectors have been built since.  (Wikipedia)

Leo Ranney is not listed in my family tree, but that does not necessarily mean we are not related.  You can read a booklet and see pictures of him and his invention here.  [Henry Hunt, From Oil to Water: The story of Leo Ranney. This article was published by Water Well Journal in October 2003 (Volume 57 Number 10).]

April 3, 2011, Update:  I couldn't let it rest until I figured if or how I was related to Leo Ranney.  Thanks to the book Middletown Upper Houses by Charles Collard Adams (see the Ranney Family Tree tab for more information), I figured out that Leo and I are 6th cousins, 3x removed.  Is that even still kin?) 

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