The surname Winwood is a place name that translates to “one who comes from or one who lives near Wine's Wood.” Wine was a Saxon Christian name. Wine's Wood no longer exists. Many small villages disappeared during the middle ages either due to the Black Death or land enclosures. The place now named Winwoods is located in the heart of the Wyre Forest near the Shropshire-Worcestershire border about 2 miles west of Bewdley, England. Winwoods is now a farm that was once used as a royal hunting lodge in the middle ages. Click here for more information on the Winwoods Farm.
The oldest record of a Winwood name found to date is of Lewis Wynwood's marriage to Ann Wingfield, daughter of Sir Anthony Wingfield, in 1512 in Letheringham, Suffolk. Lewis was at one time secretary to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. His grandson, Ralph Winwood was secretary to King James I and also served as ambassador to Holland. Early Winwood records center in the area within a few mines of the Wyre Forest where approximately 90% of old Winwood records are found. In the 1500's the hamlets of Aston Botterell, Shropshire; Bayton, Worcester; and Bromyard, Hereford, among others in the area, figure prominently in Winwood family history. Outside of the Wyre Forest area, early Winwood records from the 1500's are found in Caston, Norfolk where Symont Wyndwood is listed as father of a son of the same name who is being baptized. Later, several Winwood families show up in various villages around the city of Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk a few miles south of Caston. A few Winwood families migrated north to Durham in the mid 1800's. It is probably safe to say that all Winwood family lines had their beginnings in the Wyre Forest area with a few families venturing out from there.
Several old wills have been located that give insight into Winwood family life in the 1500's. John Winwood of Cleobury Mortimer left a will in 1559, prior to his death naming his wife, Margery, and three of this children as heirs. Each of his children also left wills; Edward, (of Kinlet) in 1571, Elizabeth (Kinlet) in 1580, Richard (Kinlet) in 1605, Walter (a weaver in Cleobury Mortimer) n 1608 and John (Kinlet) in 1634. Click here to read historic Winwood wills.
The Birmingham census of 1818 shows only one family of Winwoods – a J. Winwood, chair and cabinet maker, in Cheapside. In the 1840's there was a general migration in England as many families moved from farms to industrialized cities looking for work. Others migrated to the United States, Canada, and Australia. Six ‘stem' Winwood families have been identified in the U.S. The earliest being that of Benjamin Winwood, a Civil War Surgeon, who immigrated to Ohio in 1830. 55% of all Winwoods currently in the U.S. reside in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Winwoods immigrated to Australia early on with a few settling in Tasmania in the 1850's. A George Winnwood, born in 1837, was convicted of larceny and was sent to Australia on the ship, York, in 1862. Joseph Hartley Winwood immigrated in Alberta, Canada in the late 1800's. Obviously, the story of Winwood family migration will be added to as more records become available.
There were 25 Winwoods killed in action during World War I and 3 in World War II. Records of these soldiers can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site .
The Winwood family will continue to grow in both directions. As we strive to learn of our past, of the relationships that bind us as a family and as our families continue to grow into the future. It is our hope that is web site will serve as a gathering place for those seeking to learn about their Winwood heritage and share information for the benefit of all.
Special thanks to Keith Winwood for his input into this Winwood history.
WINWOOD NAME SPELLING VARIATIONS
In the 1700’s and 1800’s, the name Winwood was spelled with many variations. Most of the common people, of which we predominately derive, were unschooled and illiterate. On birth, marriage and death certificates, signatures were commonly given as a simple X mark. As a result, the recorders would write names as they heard them spoken, phonetically. This resulted in records, even within the same family, of 5 or more variations of the spelling of the last name. Examples are:
To read more about Winwood Family History click here.
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