Recorded as Winter, Wynter, and the patronymics Winters and Winterson, this is a "European" surname. It was originally a nickname or byname for someone of a frosty or gloomy temperament, the derivation being from the pre 7th century Olde English, Middle High German, or Danish-Viking word "wintr", meaning winter. It may also be an Ashkenazic "ornamental" surname denoting the season, which were distributed by German government officials in the 18th century, to immigrants from other countries. Finally it may be of Irish origin deriving from the pre 10th century Gaelic Mac Giolla Gheimhridh, meaning the "son of the servant of Geimhreadh", itself a byname also meaning "Winter". The surname in England dates back to the late 12th Century, whilst early examples of church recordings taken from the diocese of Greater London include William Wynter, who was christened on November 14th 1571 at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, John, the son of John and Elizabeth Winters, who was christened on January 1st 1633 at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney, and Georgii Winterson, a witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 5th 1677. John Winters, aged 18 years, was an Irish famine emigrant sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Cambridge", bound for New York on January 4th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Winter, which was dated 1185, in the Knight Templars Roll for the county of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1159 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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