Recorded in various spellings including Winterborn, Winterborne, Winterbourne, Winterburn, and others, this is an English surname. It is locational from any or all of the numerous Winterborne's found in the counties of Berkshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and others, many of which are found with an additional suffix such as Winterborne Abbas or Winterborne Tomson. The surname and its original place name is particularly interesting, because it describes a 'winter burn' or a stream (burn) which rose in winter, and flooded the land creating water meadows, but then almost disappeared in summer allowing cattle to graze the fresh lands. Early examples of the surname recording include Walter Winterbourne (1225-1305) who was the confessor to king Edward 1st (1272 - 1307) and also head of the English Dominican Order, whilst Thomas Winterbourne was Archdeacon of Canterbury in 1475. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Winterburna. This was dated 1175, in the Pipe Rolls of Dorset and Somerset during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England and known to history as the Church Builder, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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