Last name: Twentyman

Recorded as Twentyman and Twinterman, this is a medieval English surname, believed to be most popular in Cumbria. It is occupational and described a person responsible for the "twinters" or Two winters! These were the cattle who had been selected to be kept over winter, at a time when fodder was short, and starvation for both man and beast always just around the corner. Maintaining the rations and ensuring that the cattle were in good heart over a hgard winter, was a very important position. There has been a suggestion that the name was originally given to an officer responsible for a platoon or squad of twenty men, but this is not born out by research. The accounts of the monastery on Holy Island in Northumberland in circa 1520 refer to "At Fenham, 20 stirks and twynters", whilst at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire, in the same accounts we have the reference to "12 wedders and twints". It is unclear when the surname is first recorded, but one Henry Twentyman appears in the state papers in the reign of King Henry V11th (1510 - 1547). In the register of Great Orton Church, Carlisle, is the amusing recording of Joseph XXman of Woodhouse. He was buried at the church in 1618.

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