This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a Lancashire variant of "Winyard", which has two possible interpretations, though derived from the same source. Firstly, it may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a vineyard, and secondly it may be an occupational name for a worker in a vineyard, both from the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "win", wine, vine, and "geard", a yard, enclosure (Middle English "winyard"). Wine growing was formerly more widespread and popular in England than it is now. Variants of the surname in the modern idiom are Wynyard, Wingard and Winyard. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and other early examples include Juliana de la Wingarde (1275, the Subsidy Roll of Worcestershire) and William ate Wyneard (1327, the Subsidy Rolls of Somerset). Edward Wynnerd married Katherine Miles on August 30th 1573 at St. Sepulchre's, Newgate, London, while Lawrence, son of Lawrence and Ann Winnard, was christened on January 29th 1707 at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sowra de Winiard, which was dated 1212, in the "Curia Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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