This interesting name derives from the Anglo-French "viniter", "vineter" or "vinter" meaning a vintner or wine-merchant, and was originally given as an occupational name to a wine seller. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Early recordings from the 1273 Hundred Rolls include Abellus Vinetar, (Bedfordshire); Richard le Viniter, (Oxfordshire), and William le Vineter, (Northamptonshire). One, John le Vynter and a Robert Vyneter were recorded in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk and Somerset respectively. In 1582 John Farrante, husbandman, and Mary Vinter were married by civil licence in London, and on January 1st 1643 Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Vinter, was christened in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London. Occasionally, Vinter may be a Danish or Norwegian form of the name Winter, from the Old Norse "Vetr", and originally given as a nickname to one of frosty or gloomy temperament, the corresponding old English and Old High German words being "winter" and "Wintar" respectively. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Baldwin le Vienter, which was dated 1221, "The Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey", 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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