The name of Winchester is said to have been derived from the residence of its first bearer in the city of Winchester, Hampshire, England. It is found on ancient records in the various forms of Wincestre, Winchestre, Wynchestre, Wynchester, Wyncester, Wyncestre. Wincester, and Winchester,of which the last is the form most generally accepted in America today. Families bearing this name were to be found at early dates in the English counties of Hants, York, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertford, Surrey, Middlesex, and London and were, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of Great Britain. Among the earliest records of the name in England were those of Ralph de Wincestre of Norfolk County in 1273 and Nicholas Winchestre of Suffolk County about the same time. John de Wynchester of Yorkshire in the time of King Edward the Second, Robert Wynchester of Yorkshire in 1279 and numerous others of later dates. Probably the most prominent families of the name in England was that anciently settled in the county of Surrey, In which was represented in the middle of the eighteenth century by one William Winchester, who was the father- by his wife Sara Clarke of Henry of Kent, William of Middlesex, Sarah, and Ann. It is not definitely known from which of the many illustrious lines of the family in England the first emigrants of the name to America were descended, but it is generally believed that all of the Winchesters were of common ancestry at a remote period.