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The Wimsett Family of Kent, England

Updated February 14, 2008

Melanie Lane

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This site concerns the family history of the Wimsett/Winsett/Winset/Winsette/Wimsette/Whimsette/Whinsette/Whinset

The family has been traced to the Kent Weald, England

Recorded in many forms including: Wims, Wimms, Wimes, Wyms, which are probably patronymics, and the diminutives Wimlett, Wimset, and Wimsett, this is a medieval English surname. It is believed to have pre 7th century Olde English origins, and to derive from the personal name of those ancient times "Wine" meaning friend. This was originally a term of endearment such as dear, darling, (old) man, etc. The surname however spelt, is reasonably well recorded in surviving early charters and registers, but is nethertheless quite rare. After the Norman-French conquest of England in 1066, political correctness ensured that then as now, certain former words, phrases and names were taboo. This was certainly the case with any Olde English or Anglo-Saxon names, and these generally only survived in outlying areas of the country, well away from the prying eyes of the capital London. In this case the name was recorded in Kent in the year 1187 when John Winemeri, possibly John Merryfriend appears in the Pipe Rolls for the county, whilst in 1219 Hamo Wymer, translating as Hamo Famousfriend, was recorded in Yorkshire. Later recordings showing the more modern forms include: Humphrey Wimes who married Anne Wryghtman at Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex, on August 18th 1573, and Sarah Wimset who married Thomas Hunston, at the church known as St Ann's Soho, Westminster, on April 25th 1785.

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