The Guild of One Name Studies defines a variant as:

” … a name spelling which varies from the primary name spelling (or another variant spelling) used by that person’s ancestors and which is:

A name spelling that the person was known to have used, through signature evidence on wills, marriage bonds etc or other documents originating from the individual concerned, or

A name spelling used by officials on a consistent and persistent basis over a period of years”.

A reason for this may be that the name has several different varient spellings – our ancestors did not always know how to spell (if they could write!) their own names correctly.

Sometimes a person’s name would appear differently on the birth certificate, the marriage certificate and the death certificate and indeed, on a census record if the enumerator misheard the surname perhaps because of a dialect.

By using NAMEX technology 41 surnames matched with Windlow including:

Surname Match Score
Windlo 98
Windloe 94
Wyndlow 94
Windelow 89
Windlaw 85
Windley 79
Winlow 78
Windlar 75


Soundex Matches produced 611 surnames – code W543, (too many to list), while Metaphone matches produced 7 surnames Code: WNTLW – Wandlow, Wendelow, Wendlow, Wentlow, Windelow, Windlaw and Windleow.

I will concentrate my initial study to Windlow, and 5 variants:
Windlaw, Windley, Windlo, Winlow and Wyndlow using the available data.