Facts About A Name…….

The surname Windmill…..


Recorded in the spellings of Wind Mill, Windmill, and Winmill, this unusual and long-established name is English. It is ‘residential’ for somebody who lived or worked at a windmill, or who came from one of the various places called Windmill in Wiltshire, Cornwall, and London. The development is from the Olde English pre 7th century “windan myllen”, although the surname is much later, the earliest recording being 14th century, see below. Wind Mills were probably the first technology, and may well be the last, as history has a habit of repeating itself. Residential surnames are the most popular surname grouping, as both natural and man-made features in the landscape, provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In this case we have a number of interesting early recordings from all across the country: These include the rare form of Wind Mill, Thomas Wind Mill of St Ewe in Cornwall, whose daughter Jana was christened there on October 16th 1584, and in London that of Anne Windmill, who married John Brooke at the church of St Lawrence Jewry, on May 10th 1612. Other examples include Richard Windmill of London, who was buried at the church of St Mary Aldermary, in 1683, and in the county of Somerset, Samuel Windmill, who seems to have been the first of a small dynasty in the area. He married Esther Clutton at the village of Publow, on October 20th 1759. The first recording of the family name is believed to be that of Isabella atte Wyndemylle. This was dated 1366, in the Oseney Rolls of the county of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward 111 of England. He was also known as “The Father of the English navy”, 1327 – 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to “develop”, sometimes leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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