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The Origins and Meaning of Wingham

 

 

Where does the name come from?
The original Wingham is a village in Kent England
With It's abundance of water sources, fertile soil and (once) natural harbour, it is likely that Wingham area has been inhabited for a very long time.
Archaeological evidence has been found of occupation by the Romans and of human activity during the Neolithic or New Stone Age.
 

 

How old is the name?
The earliest written form, Uuigincggaham  is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon_Chronicles of 834AD. By 946 this had changed to Wuungham. In the The Domesday Book (1086) it is written as  Wingeham. Other forms include Wigginingham , Wingeham, Wyngham and Winganham.
 

 

Earliest  surname?
Many family names are derived from an ancestors place of origin and a Ralph de Wingham was noted in connection with the The Prior and Convent of Rochester in 1176.  A coat of arms was granted to Henry de Wingham in the mid 13th century.
 

 

Earliest forename?
Not so easy to trace and any information would be welcome. The only one we know of is the prominent It specialist and author Wingham Rowan
 

 

Earliest company name?
Still working on this one
 

 

What does it mean?
People with the surname Wingham are in the most part descendents of people who were associated with a place of the same name. However unraveling the meaning of the name leads to a chicken and egg situation. The place may have been named after a person or even a deity. The name has nothing to do with flying pigs.
The earliest written form of the name was in Olde English. The table below provides a list of possible roots. These can be broken down in a number of ways. You can have fun creating your own meaning based upon this list:
 
wig (pre-Christian) temple http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061101131612AAJGx22
wiga warrior http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/germanic/oe_bright_glossary.html
ing
'place characterized by -'
'place associated with -'
'associated with -',
'connected with -'
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/-ing.htm
'son of -' http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/dialect/EnglishPN.htm
'he who is foremost'
a Norse and Germanic fertility god
http://www.behindthename.com/php/view.php?name=ing
inga
'of the people of -'
'of the followers of -'
'of the family of -'
'of the dwellers at -'
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/-ing.htm
ingas
'associated with -'
'connected with -'
'dependents of -'
'people of -'
'the people who lived at-'
http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/dialect/EnglishPN.htm
ingaham
'the homestead of -'
'the followers of - '
http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/dialect/Angset.htm
ham homestead
 
Note: the Australian aboriginal word wingan means "place where bats drink" - source: Manning Historical Society

 

So Wingham may be The homestead of the followers of the foremost warrior, who live by his is heathen temple to the Norse god of fertility. The nearby village of Woodnesborough (Odin's Barrow) also takes its name from a Norse god.
We settled on 'village of the dwellers at the heathen temple' (http://www.glaucus.org.uk/-ing.htm) because we like it
 
You can find out more about the complexity of deciphering place names at:
http://www.thurrock-community.org.uk/historysoc/gelling1.htm
http://www.answers.com/topic/etymology-of-cumbrian-place-names-1
http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/engplnam.html
http://www.takeourword.com/TOW203/page2.html
 
A some less imaginative contribution to the meaning is provided by a Mr. More in Hussey, A (1896); Chronicles of Wingham : J A Jennings, City Printing Works.
 
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