The surname of WINCHESTER was a locational name 'of Winchester' a city in County Hampshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was originally derived from the Old English word VENTACEASTER, literally meaning the dweller at the Roman fort. OUENTA (without surname) who was documented in the year 1150 in Hampshire, appears to be the first of the name on record. WINTANCEASTER (without surname) was recorded in Hampshire in the year 1195. Other records of the name mention Ralph de Wincestre, 1273, County Norfolk. Robertus Wynchester of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. James Winchester and Elizabeth Edge were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1804. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. Oliver Winchester (1810-80) was the owner of the arms company which produced the Winchester rifle, was born in Boston, a fifth-generation descendant of John Winchester, who had settled in America by 1637. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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