This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Wimbish near Saffron Walden in Essex. The place is recorded in "Anglo-Saxon Wills" as "Wimbisc", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wimbeis", while in the Essex Curia Rolls of 1208 it appears as "Winbiss", a similar form to that of the first surname recording below. The placename means "pasture with reeds", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "winn", meadow, pasture, with "biosic", reedy place, a derivative of "beos", reeds. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor and local landowners, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. One John de Wymbisse is recorded in the Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls of 1273, and John Wymbusch is listed in the Patent Rolls of 1422. In Suffolk, the christening of Radulphus Wimbush was recorded at Glemsford, on March 15th 1634. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts, on a green field, eleven round beads in chevron surmounted in the centre by a cross, pendent to the two end beads a tassel, all gold, between three silver cinquefoils. The Crest is a friar habited in a russet gown supporting himself on a crutch, all proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Winebise, which was dated circa 1260, in the "Book of Fees of Leicestershire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "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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