Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English medieval surname. It is either residential and describes somebody who lived by a winding-house, or much more likely was occupational for winder of thread and yarn. The derivation is from the pre 7th Century word "windan", meaning to wind, and "hus", a place of work. Job-descriptive surnames were amongst the first to be created, but they did not usually become hereditary until usually a son followed his father into the same business or skill. Early examples of recordings include Thomas Wyndhouse in the register of the Freemen of the City of York in1431, whilst William Wyndowes was a weaver in the same register. In the modern idiom the surname has spellings which include Window, Windowes, Windows, Winders, Windrus, Windross, Windress and Windus. Other recordings include Elin Windresse and Richard Barnes who were married at Kirkham, Lancashire on January 23rd 1561, and the christening of Christofer Windross at St. Peter's Leeds, Yorkshire, on January 10th 1615. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of William de Wyndhows. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax register of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11nd, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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