This interesting surname is of Olde English and Olde Norse origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived on a windy hill, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wind" meaning wind, plus the Middle English "banke", a development of the Old Norse "bakke", bank, ridge or hill. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below), and early recordings include Robert del Wyndybankes (1315), in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire. Variations in the spelling of the surname include: Windybank, Windebank, Wyndebank, Wyndebancke, and Windebank. London Church Records list the christening of Francis Wyndebancke on August 21st 1582 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and the marriage of Mary Windibank to William Hawkins on February 8th 1807 at St. Pancras Old Church. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is azure, a chevron between three falcons volant silver, as many trefoils slipped black. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Wyndibonk, which was dated 1300, in the "Coucher Book or Chartulary of Whalley Abbey", Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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