The surname of WINTHER was derived from the Old English WYNTER - a name given to one born during this time of the year. Medieval houses often had their walls painted from biblical, historical, romantic or allegorical subjects, such as the representation of winter, if one of the family were born at this time. The name is also spelt WINTERS, WINTER, WYNTER and WYNTERS. Early records of the name mention William Roger Winter, 1113, County Surrey. Walter Winter was documented in Berkshire in the year 1195. Phillip Winter of the County of Norfolk in 1273. Phillip Wintersonne, 1273 County Norfolk. Emma Wyntersonne, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of the year 1379. Emma Wynter of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France 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. 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.
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