Recorded as Winslade and Winslad and later Winslet and Winslett, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place in the county of Hampshire now spelt Winslade. Recorded variously as Winesflot in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, as Winesflode in charters dated 1270, and as Wynnesfloud in the Episcopal Registers of the county in circa 1290, it means "Wynn's channel (or stream)." From the varied early place name spelling it is possible to see how the surname spellings varied later. Being a locational surname, this would usually ensure that it was a "from" name. That is to say a surname given as easy identification to somebody who moved away from the original homestead, to live somewhere else. However this name is particularly well recorded in the church registers of the county of Hampshire, suggesting people did not move far. These early recordings include Ellen Winslade, christened at the village of Bentley on October 29th 1554, Annis Winslad christened at Old Alresford on March 29th 1561, Emlin Winslet who maaried Francis Tidder at Old Alresford on May 8th 1598, whilst Winslett and Winslade appear at Binsted near Alton in 1728 and 1744 respectively. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Winslade. This was dated 1550, when he married Grace Smith at Old Alresford, Hampshire, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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