Although derived from Olde English Winteur, the name is almost certainly a medieval nickname for a person with a 'sad and miserable face', Winter being a period of considerable hardship in the medieval times. There are several spellings of the name including Wintour, and Wynter. In the modern idiom the name has five spelling variations Winter, Winters, Wintour, Wynter and Wynters. An interesting name bearer was Sir John Winter (1600 - 1673), secretary to Queen Henrietta Marie, and descendant of Edward Somerset, fourth Earl of Worcester, Knighted (1624). After the Restoration he obtained the monopoly for his experiments in the production of coke and was a successful colliery manager in the Forest of Dean. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Winter, which was dated 1185, in the Knight Templars of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry ll, 1154 - 1189. 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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