This interesting and unusual surname comes from a place in Northern France, named from the Latin "vinetum" vineyard, a derivative of "vinea", vine in Old French "Vi(g)ne". As a surname, it denoted someone who lived at or by a vineyard and was introduced to Britain by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. Vine growing was far more common in England in medieval times than it is now, as can be seen from the number of places in Southern England named from vineyards such as "Vineyards" in Essex and Cambridgeshire. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Mary Viney and Thomas Creamer on June 3rd 1636, at St. Giles' Cripplegate; the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Griffin and Joane Vyney, on March 28th 1647, at St. Andrew's, Holborn; whilst Elizabeth Viney married Thomas London on October 29th 1702, at St. Mary's, Aldermary. One George Viney, aged 33 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from London aboard the "Northumberland", bound for New York on April 9th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Vinnur, which was dated 1207, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of Kiang John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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