This is considered to be an English locational surname, although over the centuries there has been some confusion with the patronymic Winterson, meaning the son of Wintr, an early Anglo-Saxon personal name of the pre 7th century. As a locational name Winterton originates from the two villages so called, one in the county of Norfolk, and the other in the adjoing county of Lincolnshire. Both would seem to have the same meaning of either a village (tun) belonging to a man called Wintr, or just possibly a place which was only used for winter shelter, or perhaps was low lying and particularly cold.Both villages are recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. Locational surnames were those given either to the lord of the manor, which would seem to be the case here, or to former villagers who moved somewhere else, and thereafter were most easily identified by being named after that place. The earliest published recording of the surname is believed to be that of Richard de Winterton in the Hundred Rolls of landowners in the year 1273, although Walter de Winterton of Warwickshire, and Henry de Wyntreton of Staffordshire, each appear in their own local version of the Hundred Rolls in the same year.
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