Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this unusual name is usually early Medieval English. It is however ultimately of Roman origin from the Latin personal name 'Vicentius', a derivative of the word vincere, meaning to conquer, through the much later pre 9th century French and English name 'Vincent' . As such it was a very popular medieval given name partly due to the veneration in which the 3rd century Spanish martyr St. Vincent was held in the Middle Ages. The first recording of the personal name is in the Curia Rolls for the county of of Norfolk in 1206, as 'Vincencius', whilst the surname followed shortly afterwards. Over the centuries the surname has generated a number of spellings including Vincent, Vincett, Vince and the patronymics Vinsen, Vinson, and Vinsun. Early examples of the surname recording include Anthony Vinson in the Hearth Tax registers for the county of Suffolk in 1674, and the marriage of Elizabeth Vinsen to Richard Miller at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, on June 9th 1777. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Vincent. This was dated 1230, in the register known as the cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry IIIrd of England, 1216 -1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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