Recorded as Win, Winn, Wyn, Wynn and the diminutives Winnett and Wynett, this is an Anglo-Welsh surname. It is true that in modern times it is generally considered to be Welsh, but in fact there are at least four possible origins. These are from the Welsh or Olde English personal name Gwyn of the pre 8th century. This translates as "fair", and may originally have been a descriptive nickname for an Anglo-Saxon of Norse-Viking invader who were fair skinned. Secondly it may originate from the personal name "Wine", which was an Olde English word meaning friend, thirdly it may be from the the Norse-Viking pre 9th century personal name "Hvin", which translates literally as "gorse", but was probably a nickname for a prickly person. Finally we have "Wynn", an Olde English baptismal name which translates as "joy". All the early recordings are to be found in England, and examples include Thomas filius Win of Shropshire in 1255, and Philip Wyn in the Subsidy Rolls of Shropshire in 1327. William Winn was christened on March 13th 1611 at St. Andrew's, Enfield, and Sarah, the daughter of Edward Winnett, was christened on July 1st 1612, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. Catherine Winn, aged 20, was an Irish famine emigrant, who sailed from Liverpool aboard the ship "Grampion" bound for New York on May 22nd 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osketel Wyn. This was dated 1199, in the Pipe Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England, 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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