Last name: Wind

Recorded in several spelling forms including Waind, Wind, Wynd, Wain and Wean, this is an English topographical or nickname surname. It derives from the Pre 7th century Olde English "gewind", and describes either a person who lived by a particulary windy place or a "winding" road. As a medieval nickname surname it was probably given to a fast runner or messenger, one who was "as speedy as the wind". It is not always easy to comprehend how surnames and especially their spellings developed, but accents were highly localised to the point where adjoining villages often spoke almost different languages. Above all there was little or no formal education, outside the major cities, of which there were only five. To be able to write ones own name, was for 90% of the population, until the mid 19th century the limit of their ambitions, and of the remaining 10% the quality of clerical skills can only be described as variable. In this case early examples of the surname recording include Geoffrey Wynd, in the 1230 Pipe Rolls of Huntingdon, and John in ye Wyndde, in the 1297 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. Later examples are those of John Waine, at the church of St Katherine by the Tower (of London) on July 24th 1618, and William Waind, christened at the church of St Martins in the Field, westminster, on October 22nd 1769. The first known recording in any spelling is believed to be that of Walter Winde, in the 1186 Pipe Rolls of the county of Essex. This was during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199.

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