This interesting and unusual surname derives from the Old German personal name Gund(e)win, a compound of the elements "gunn" meaning a "battle" plus "win" "a friend". The forename first appears in its Latinized form Gundewinus in the 1130, Pipe Rolls of Surrey. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one William Gundewyne (1296), "The Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", and Willelmus Gunwyn (1379), "The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire". The London church recordings include Margarett, daughter of Robert Gunninge who was christened at St. Mildred Poultry with St. Mary Colechurch on October 16th 1586. Robert Gunning married Marcery Kadwell at St. Bartholomew the Less on May 14th 1593, and John Gunning married Angell Marshall on February 6th February 1631, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. One William Gunning, aged 26, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the Henrietta - Mary bound for New York on May 15th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Gundewin, which was dated 1228, The Calendar of Close Rolls, London, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.
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