When you rename a job, the history on the job is lost. I don't see any reason why this should happen and should at least be a choice.
Builds disappear some time after renaming job
"forgets" builds, workspace of renamed job
The issue has been solved in JENKINS-18678
I renamed a job today and the history was not lost.
No manual steps were required and the history was there instantly.
The only issue I've had is that a downstream job that runs on promotion of the renamed job still referred to the old job name.
You only need to reload the configuration manually from disk after you have renamed a job, as far as I can see. After you have done that, your history is reinstated. So this bug is frightening, because it looks as though the history has been lost, but it turns out to be harmless.
The rename action does take care of updating jobs that use Copy Artifact and dependencies.
FYI: The renaming of the jobs, in my case, was propagated to other jobs using it. While reloading from disks it did not disturb running jobs.