thea whincop's eyes


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  about this site
  about whincops
Where does the name come from, anyway?
why 'Whincop'?
Wynkoops - our orthographic, if not genetic, cousins
removing links from this page
Whincops on the Net
dead Whincops
adding links to this page
Are all these Whincops related somehow?
finding out more about Whincops
what's new


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about Whincops, and the name 'Whincop'

Where does the name come from, anyway?

In short, nobody knows. It could be that the name originated in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK or elsewhere.

The name may have derived from a descriptive place name (e.g. a hill covered in gorse), or from an occupation (e.g. a cooper of wine barrels, or a gatherer of gorse).

There's an excellent article for Whincup/Whincop over at Wikipedia that should keep gathering evidence and ideas as they emerge, so might well be worth checking from time to time.

The Dutch Connection

One seemingly plausible suggestion is that some of us Whincops (and Whincups, Wynkoops, etc.) emerged from a place near Putten, over in the Netherlands when Dutch folk decided to venture forth and left the flat lands, canals and dikes of Holland for the flat lands, dikes and canals of the UK East coast and migrated elsewhere (such as New Netherlands, and New Amsterdam, in the US) from the UK, if not directly from the Netherlands.

Maybe that initial bit of wanderlust coincided with the canal building flurry that was driven by the Industrial Revolution in the 17th century (not that I'd want to paint Holland as a nation of canal builders), or maybe it was poverty, war, ambition, population growth, religious persecution or some combination of reasons that drove us to strike out and boldly go.

If you have stories in your family about why your ancestors set out for pastures new, please let us know.

There's a great site on the Dutch folk with a similar sounding name :

van Winkoop

This great page on the Dutch van Winkoop site lists generations of folk (from around 1450 onwards) called Wijncop, Winkoop, van Winkoop, Wijnkoop, etc. who stayed over in Holland and waved goodbye to the rest of us (if that's indeed where some of us came from). As you can see from the names listed, consistent spelling was never considered that important in the past. Only bureaucrats and computers are small-minded enough to care about such things!

That being the case, the site you are on now ( should open up to embrace Whincups, Wincups, Wincops and all variations on this long and illustrious theme. So however you spell your name, you're very welcome to get in touch with others on the forum.

OK, we maybe came from the Netherlands, but why did we call ourselves 'Whincop' (or van Wynkoop, or whatever)? Why not van Put(t)en, or van Barneveld?

The actual place that at least some of us Whincops originate from seems to have been tracked down pretty well. There's a wee map on the 'Diversen'(various) page of the Dutch site. It seems to be an old street map, though I have to admit that my Dutch is absolutely useless and I just make guesses from my knowledge of English and German. It seems to me that it's saying something about a footpath crossing the 'Beekweg' ('weg' being a 'way' or 'path') and the Beekweg being called the 'Wijncopersteegh' in 1738.

If some kind person would like to translate things for us properly, I'd be much obliged.

Wynkoops - our orthographic (if not genetic) cousins

Here are pages to do with Wynkoops, which Whincops may well find of interest:

The Wynkoop Family Page [dead link. It used to be here: If you know where it is now, please let me know.]

The Wynkoop Brewing Company (Denver, Colorado)

The brewing company seems to be connected with Wynkoops (and thus Whincops) only by name (rather than there being true family ties), however, being named after the first sheriff of Denver, one Edward (or Ned) Wynkoop:

-Ned Wynkoop

Edward/Ned Wynkoop (1836-1891) was embroiled in events surrounding a terrible massacre (November 29th, 1864) of the Cheyenne at Sand Creek, Colorado. It seems that while he was a major in the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers in the Army of the Republic, he called Cheyenne leaders together, ostensibly under the protection of the Army and US Government, and then failed to protect the reservation from slaughter by a force of some 600-700 of the local Colorado militia under the command of a Colonel Chivington. This wasn't a 'battle' in the Indian Wars. It was a slaughter, known as the Sand Creek Massacre, of mainly the weak, the elderly, women and children on the Cheyenne reservation. Around 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were killed over a period of seven hours:

Sand Creek Massacre Project Study

longer and more detailed account as a pdf file

See Chris Wynkoop's page on Edward Wanshear Wynkoop for another (very similar) view of the events, the original article having been written by Edward Wanshear Wynkoop's son, Edward Estil Wynkoop (b.1861).

It really does look like the Cheyenne recognised that Wynkoop had promised protection in good faith and it seems that Wynkoop was genuinely disgusted by the behaviour of Chivington's troops. Chivington was, however, Wynkoop's commanding officer, and disapproved of Wynkoop's humanitarian actions and attitudes. At one point in late October (i.e. prior to the massacre), Wynkoop was called from Fort Lyon, where he was the commanding officer, to Fort Riley, the district headquarters, in order to explain his actions in having given rations to the Arapaho Indians under Left Hand and Little Raven. There were 130 lodges of Arapaho voluntarily at Fort Lyon at the time, seeking peace, and as prisoners of war they were unable to hunt in order to provide for their families. Wynkoop's actions were held to contravene the policies of his superiors (Governor Evans, General Curtis and Chivington all believed in a policy of 'punishing' the Indians), and he was summarily replaced as commanding officer of Fort Lyon by Major Scott Anthony, who arrived there in early November. These events led directly to the massacre taking place where it did as surrendering and negotiating indians and their families settled at Sandy Creek where they had some chance of feeding themselves as provisions were no longer supplied at Fort Lyon.

If anyone has any information at all on the tragedy, please let me know.

There's a ton of material on the genealogy of Wynkoops here:

The Wynkoop Family Research Library

Wynkoop Genealogy

The link to a downloadable book by a Richard Wynkoop that was published in 1904 (RWG3: Richard Wynkoop's Genealogy, 3rd edition) is now dead, unfortuantaely. Again, if anybody knows where it now resides, please let me know or contact Koen using the email link on his site. The Wynkoop Family Research Library site site has been put together by someone who is almost my namesake, and I take my hat off to Christopher Wynkoop for all his hard work (Keon and others, too!). Their sites are comprehensive, and in addition to an awful lot of information on members of 'the family' called Wynkoop, Chris's site has fascinating tidbits on Wynekoops (including reports of a Dr Alice Wynekoop murdering her daughter-in-law in 1933), the Wijnkoop coat-of-arms, name variants (though 'Whincop' is not listed among them!), among many other things. Here are just a couple of links:

This document [sorry - dead link!] suggests connections of at least one branch of the family (Wijnkoop, Wijncoop and Wynkoop are all mentioned as names in the article) with an estate in Putten, Gelderland, in the Netherlands.

This document [sorry - dead link!] suggests connections with Amsterdam, Hoorn, Utrecht and, again, Barneveld in Gelderland, in the Netherlands. It states that near Barneveld there is a district called 'Wenkop' and that many branches of the 'family' have or once had a 'van' in the name, e.g. 'van Wijncoop'. The 'van' means 'of' or 'from', in the same way as the German 'von'.

One meaning of the name is also stated in the article as being to do with buying and wine. This makes sense as if you ever go to Holland you will see 'For Sale' signs saying 'Te Koop'. Another meaning associated with the name is that it refers to the part of a pasture furthest away, though it is not clear why. Here's what the article says:

The most common meaning of the name is a drink of wine offered by the purchaser to a seller at a sale. Wenkop, the name of the district from which the family undoubtedly derived its name is said to mean the extreme end of a pasture.

The connection between these two meanings is far from clear to me. If you can throw any light at all on the topic, please let me know.

The same article states that the following are listed in official registers from 1557 onwards, and nicely illustrates the variety in spelling:


The same article also links the name with Apeldoorn and Nijkerk.

Here's a map showing just about all the significant places (Putten, Nijkerk, Barneveld, Apeldoorn, Amsterdam, Hoorn)

The wine connection

Hmm, another theory on the origin of the name is that it has something to do with 'Weinkopf', i.e. 'wine head', so maybe brewing and alcohol consumption may have played a part in the origin of the name of at least some Whincops.

The Wikipedia article says that there's a Germanic family name - Wijnkooper - that means wine cooper (i.e. a maker of wine barrels).

multiple origins, multiple names

We don't know where the name came from, and indeed it may have sprung up in different places, at different times, and may have been adopted and adapted as a family name by many different families.

If we started exploring the bigger picture and carrying out searches on all of the variants on the name, it'd be a pretty endless, though informative, task. In the time I've taken to throw this site together and do just a little research (and I'm not really a Whincop researcher, remember, just a Whincop!), I've found out much more than I ever imagined I would. There are all sorts in the world, and so, not surprisingly, there are all sorts of Whincops.


Does anyone have a photo of a Dutch actor called Frits van Wenkop? If so, please let me have a copy.


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removing links from this page

If I have a link to you on this page (or any page on this site) and you'd rather have a bit of privacy, well, get in touch and I'll remove the link.

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Whincops on the Net

Thea is one of my daughters. She's the one with the eyes that you see on every page of this site.

The good Professor Whincop's output (in terms of both quality and quantitiy) put us all to shame. Amazingly, it was not only on the topics of law and economics. The very same Michael Whincop exhibited an extremely well-informed interest in classical music:

search on "Michael Whincop" on list by Michael Whincop

Tragically, Michael Whincop passed away in June 2003. Our sympathy goes out to his family, friends, colleagues, students, readers, and all others for whom he is so very sadly missed.


Another Whincop (just the one??) whose output makes me, at least, feel like I'm a tad thick and lazy. He's a Harvard Department of Music graduate student from New Zealand, according to this page. Seems he's also a writer on techie topics (tex, linux, scanners, etc.), English usage and puzzles, judging by a search on usenet:

search on "Peter Whincop" on

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a few whincops of long ago

Here's just a little info on long gone Whincops...

This page lists all the Whincops buried in Abney Park Cemetery in London. They date from 1859 (wee 5 yr old George Edward) to 1941 (Eliza, at the ripe old age of 91). There are 22 of them in all:

Abney Park Cemetery page listing Whincops

The database has a few more Whincops, but not as many as you might think. A couple of years ago it came up with records for about 200 Whincops, from the 1600's to 1937 (Philip Whincop, born 1937, died 1995, California, USA). More recently (Jan 2006), it gave results for only 74 when using the 'exact spelling' option in the search. The vast majority of the 74 were listed as being born in Suffolk, UK.

And a search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists these Whincops:

Name Age Rank Regiment Date of Death
WHINCOP, A G ? Driver Royal Field Artillery 14th Nov 1918
WHINCOP, C A 65 Master Merchant Navy 22nd Oct 1939
WHINCOP, H M ? Lance Serjeant Machine Gun Corps (Inf) 19th Jul 1916
WHINCOP, J F 33 Staff Serjeant Army Service Corps 8th Feb 1917
WHINCOP, P ? Skipper Royal Naval Reserve 12th Mar 1916
WHINCOP, W N 27 Second Officer Merchant Navy 22nd Aug 1940

If you come across information relating to any other Whincops that I could link to from here, please let me know.

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adding links to these pages

Do you know a Whincop (dead or alive) on the net? If so, send me a URL and I'll put a link to them on this site.

If you know a Whincop that's not on the net, please send info.

If life drives me in that direction, you never know, I just might get round to creating a World map with Whincop densities plotted on it. (Errm, exciting, or what?? Bet you're thrilled to the core.)

Seriously though, we Whincops don't want to feel like we're dying out, or anything, so the more 'cousins' we discover, the better.

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Are all these Whincops related somehow?

Are we all related? Well, yes, of course we *all* are, no matter what our name or colour, if we go back far enough.

Strange as it may seem, all human squabbles are ultimately family squabbles if you give yourself enough of a perspective to see it. The DNA evidence proves it. Go back far enough and all humans have a common (and yes, still human) ancestor. Hell, go back far enough and all mammals have a common ancestor. Go far enough back and all DNA-based life on Earth (i.e. all life on Earth, as far as I'm aware) has a common ancestor.

As some character in some novel once observed while watching his kid sister drinking a glass of milk; 'it's kind of like watching god drinking god'. Huh?? Oh, never mind.

Are all Whincops perhaps more recently related, with a common ancestor within the last five to ten generations, say? Well, in my heart of hearts I very much doubt it, but that doesn't mean we aren't, and somehow it's still a comforting idea (if you're a Whincop) to speculate that we might be.

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finding out more about Whincops (and variants)

Quick searches are easy:

search the database - this database, courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, is a huge and invaluable resource, though it is not complete, and does not include more recent records (for the UK, at any rate - there are more recent records for a few other countries).

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (updated link: 2012)

Google search on 'Whincop'

Google search on 'Whincops' - throws light on places named after some Whincop, so you get 'Whincops Cottages' (in Lowestoft, UK), 'Whincops Road' (in Halswell, Christchurch, New Zealand), etc.

By the way, if you happen to discover which Whincop any location was named after, please let me know. Thanks! :)


It'd also be great if you could help me identify (and if possible even update) any dead links. Again, just get in touch. Many thanks.

[ ^ ] | >> (jump to 'contacting me')

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