The surname of WINDSOR was a locational name 'of Windsor' a parish, a small borough and market town in County Berkshire, anciently Windleshora, said to have arisen from the winding course of the River Thames. Other spellings of the name include WINSOR, WINSER, WINZOR, WINZER, WINTZ and WINZAR. This surname of the present British royal family, was adopted in place of Wettin in 1917, as a response to anti-German feeling during the Ist World War. The surname of Edward VII (and hence of George V. up to 1917) was Wettin, his father, Prince Albert, being Prince Wettin of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The name Windsor was taken from the town in Berkshire where Windsor Castle is a Royal Residence. It had been an ordinary English habitation name for centuries before these events. Early records of the name mention Hugh de Windelsor, 1273, London. Miles Wyndsor registered at Corp Christi College, Oxford University in the year 1564. Windsor (Christian name omitted) and Elizabeth Perkins, were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1734. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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last updated on: January 7th, 2014
family shield, code of arms, genealogy