This unusual surname is of medieval English origins. Recorded in the forms of Woodvine, Woodfine, Woodwin, Woodwind, and the unusual Woodwing, its origins are residential. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th century words wudu -fern, meaning a wood full of ferns, and as such described a person who lived by such a place It is possible that the name could be locational, from a now "lost" village or hamlet called Fernwood, as it is known that at least three thousand such places which have disappeared from the maps since the 14th Century, have provided modern surnames. The name was originally recorded mainly in Cheshire and Lancashire, suggesting that if there was a 'lost' site it would be been located in one of those counties.Early examples of the surname recording include John Woodwin who married Thomazin Winter at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 12th 1596, Richard Woodvine, who with his wife Elizabeth, witnessed the christening of their son John at the same church of St Dunstans on February 7th 1674, John Woodwind christened at St Katherin's church, Coleman Street, London, on November 28th 1762, and Maria Sophia Woodwing, the daughter of William and Suzanna Woodwing, christened at St Sepulchre Church, city of London, on December 26th 1785. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Ann Woodfeyn. This was dated 12th June 1559, when she married Joseph Smethurst, at Frodsham, in Cheshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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