This interesting and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Windsor in Berkshire, or Broadwindsor and Little Windsor in Dorset. The placenames are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Windlesora, Windesore" and "Windresorie", and derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "windels", windlass, and "ora", bank, place suitable for landing; hence, "landing place with a windlass". Winsor in Devonshire, recorded as "Winlesore" in the 1202 Feet of Fines, and Winsor in Hampshire, recorded as "Windlesor" in the 1236 Assize Court Rolls, share the same meaning and derivation, and may contribute to the origin of the surname. All places are situated near water: Windsor (Berkshire) on the Thames; Windsor (Dorset) on a stream; Winsor (Devonshire) near the mouth of the Yealm; and Winsor (Hampshire) in Eling on Southampton Water. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Reginald de Windesor is noted in the 1130 Pipe Rolls of Berkshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Windsor, Wincer, Winser, Winsor and Winzer. On November 26th 1770, William Wincer married Sarah Howgate, at the church in Calverley, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godfrey de Windelesor, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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