This very unusual name is not at all what it seems. Recorded in many forms including Windridge, Winridge, Windredg, Windresse, Windras, Windrass, Windres and Wynntridge, it is of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It is not locational and has absolutely nothing to do with a 'windy ridge'. The derivation is from a personal name 'Winric' meaning 'joyful ruler', and as such it was a tribal name of the Dark Ages, some five hundred years or more before the introduction of surnames. Many names of this period were developed around the concepts of glory, rule, and godlike behaviour, elements of life which people seem to have wished for, but which were largely missing in a particulary turbulent time in history. Many ancient British and English 'names' were swept aside in the political correctness period which followed the Norman Conquest of 1066, but this name is one of the survivors. This may have been because the early recordings indicate that it developed in East Anglia, a land of swamps and lakes, which was largely avoided by the Normans. The name is first recorded in Suffolk in 1095 when Goduine Uuenric appears in the register of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, with the first of the 'modern' recordings being possibly that of Margaret Wyndrych, in the Subsidy Rolls of the same county in 1524. Other recordings include Margaret Windresse who married John Hallom at St Dunstans, Stepney, on November 3rd 1589, and Pastumia Windridge married James Sayer at St Helens church, Bishopgate, city of London, on June 10th 1634.
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