This very interesting name is generally considered in modern times to be of Welsh origin, but in fact there are at least four possible origins. These are "Gwyn", which is of Old Welsh origin, and, possibly as it translates as "fair", a descriptive nickname for an Anglo-Saxon invader. The next source is from "Wine", an Olde English pre 7th Century word and personal name meaning "the friend". Thirdly, it may be derived from the Norse-Viking pre 9th Century "Hvin", translating literally as "gorse", but probably a nickname for a "prickly person", and finally, it may be derived from "Wynn", an Olde English baptismal name which translates as "Joy".All early recordings are from England, such as the first recording (see below), and other examples include: Thomas filius Win (1255, Shropshire); Philip Wyn (1327, the Pipe Rolls of Shropshire); whilst Griffin Wynn or Winne was recorded on January 30th 1624 as being a member of the Governors Guard of Pasbehaighs, Virginia. There were over twenty Coats of Arms granted to families of the name, but the one most associated with the family is a red shield with a Saracen's head erased at the neck proper wreathed about the temples black and silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osketel Wyn, which was dated 1199, in the "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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