This interesting surname has two distinct possible sources. Firstly, it may be of early medieval English origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived by a road or path, from the Middle English "went", way, passage, a derivative of the Olde English pre 7th Century "wendan", to turn. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Stephen ad le Wente is noted in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, and John Wente is listed in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Secondly, the surname may be of Germanic origin, and is a nickname for a windy person, a braggart, a boastful person, deriving from the Old High German "wint", wind. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. Recordings of the surname from various Church Registers include: the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas Wint, on June 1st 1633, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London; the marriage of Elizabeth Wint and William Wright in the same place, on September 8th 1646; and the marriage of Elisabet Wint and Johannes Bart on August 15th 1662, at Birkenfeld, Oldenburg, Germany. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de la Wente, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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