This famous name is probably better known in America than in England, John Winthrop (1588 - 1649) being the first Govenor of the Colony of Massachusetts in 1629, and the founder of the Winthrop Dynasty which culminated in Robert Winthrop (1809 - 1894) being the speaker of the House of Representatives. The name is locational and derives from the villages of Winthorpe in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, the name translation being "The settlement (Thorp) of Wina" a personal name which may derive from the Olde English "Wincinas" meaning "The Pirates". The name development includes John Wyntrop, a witness at the Church of St. Andrews Undershaft, London on July 25th 1582. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Winthrop, which was dated 1548, christened at St. Michael's Cornhill, London, during the reign of King Henry VIII, "Good King Hal", 1510 - 1548. 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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