This page is dedicated to the history of the Vineyard and Winyard families, originally from the area around South Cove, Suffolk

The Vineyard and Winyard names were for a long time interchangeable alternatives, derived from the Old English wingeard in reference to a worker in a vineyard. Other variants of the name appear to include Wingard, Winnard (Lancashire), and various alternative spellings such as Vyniard, Wynyard and the like.

During the Middle Ages, the names appear to have been distributed around the country (de Winiard, 1212 Berkshire Curia Regis Rolls, de la Wingarde, 1275 Worcestershire Lay Subsidy, ate Wyneard, 1327 Somerset Lay Subsidy), but by the 17th century the only significant concentration of the Vineyard name which appears to have survived was in the area of the north-east Suffolk coast between Southwold and Lowestoft. The Winyard name appears to have been somewhat more widespread, with other notable early occurrences in Gloucestershire and London. By 1881, there were only about 30 Vineyards in the UK, with almost half of these born in Suffolk and a quarter in London, but four times as many Winyards. Apart from Suffolk (16% of total) and London (14%), the Winyard name was also notably represented in Durham (19%) and Sussex (16%), although it would appear that both these lines were offshoots of the Suffolk Winyards. It is also worth noting that the name Vinnard or Vennard (sometimes Viniard) appears in Cornwall in the 1760's and also in Scotland and Ireland, and it may be that there is an alternative origin for this apparent variant of the name. Descendants of this line ended up in the US, Canada and Australia. Another Wyneard (sometimes Wynnyard, Wineard) line occurs in the area around Marshfield, Gloucestershire in the early 17th century, although this family appears to have changed its name to England and disappeared locally by the 1650's. Finally, a local Wingard family has been documented in Weston, Suffolk in the latter half of the 18th century, and details are on the Pulford Family Genealogy page.

Edward and Sarah Winyard (alias Vinyard) had at least three sons born in the area around South Cove and Covehithe in Suffolk in the 1670's, and are currently the earliest known representatives of the family lines originating in this area, although it would appear that Edward's father was called Robert. Their descendants flourished locally down into the 19th century, and work continues in attempting to link in some of the more far-flung Winyard lines which originated in the area. An initial outline of their descendant tree is attached. Another early marriage of Michael Viniard and Elizabeth Brown in nearby Sibton in 1697 is evidence for an early presence there, and it would appear that the family also flourished in this area into the 19th century, when members of this branch moved to Durham and initiated the Winyard line in Boldon. Several probably related Vineyard lines also flourished a little further north, in Carlton Colville, where a William and Mary Vineyard had children in the 1740's - this line is being researched by Robert Green and is of interest to Robin Bishop (see interests).

An overview of research carried out to date is also attached. 

There is a moderately active Vineyard message board at, although this is primarily dedicated to Vineyards in the US. A summary of Vineyard interests currently unconnected with the Suffolk families is also incorporated in this site.

Anyone interested in further details of the Vineyard or Winyard families, or who is able to provide additional details relevant to this study, is invited to contact the coordinator for this page Ian Hall.


This page was last updated 01 February 2008