Recorded in many spellings including Winkle, Winkell, Winckle, and the patronymics Winckles, Winkles, Winckless and Winkless, this is an English surname. It is locational, and is said to originate from the village of Wincle, near the town of Macclesfield in the county of Cheshire. The village stands on the River Dane, and the meaning of the placename and hence the later surname may be Wineca's hill, from the pre 7th century Olde English word and personal name "Wine" meaning friend. However according to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley, the village was recorded in the year 1200 as Winchul, from which medieval spelling it would suggest that "win" refers to a particular form of grass, rather than a personal name, which may well be more logical. What we do know is that in 1565 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st (1558 - 1603) Richard Winkle is recorded as being a student at Oxford University, whilst in the Wills Register of Chester in 1635, Jane Winkles was given as being a husbandman, the correct name for a farmer, and William Winkless, a christening witness at St Anne Soho, Westminster, on August 2nd 1829.
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