This interesting and rare name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of either the name "Wynyard", a locational name from a place so called in Durham, which is a derivation of the Old English pre 7th Century "winn", a meadow, and "geard", an enclosure or, "Winyard", a topographical name for someone who lived near a vineyard, or a person who worked in one. The derivation of Winyard is from the Old English "Win", Wine, with "geard", a enclosure, or yard. Wine growing was formerly more common than it is now. Wynyard in Durham appears in the Fees of that county of 1208 - 1210 as "Winyard" and in the patent Rolls of 1237, as "Wyneiard". Several early recordings are to be found at Standish and Wigan in the county of Lancashire, these include Alice Wynnard who married Richard Harrison on 23rd September, 1562 at Standish and Alice Wynnard who married George Allanson at Standish on May 27th 1571 - is this the same person? we wonder. Whilst Elizabeth Winward married Valentine Townley on 5th September 1725 at Wigan. Amongst the recordings in London is Mary Winward, christened on August 5th 1733 at St. Lawrence Jewry, Milk Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sarra de Winiard, which was dated 1212, Curia Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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