Varden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Varden arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Varden family lived in "La Roque and La Chesnaye-du-Bois [where] both maintain that it had its origin in the county of Mortaine, where one of its branches was of long continuance; yet it is incontestable that in the twelfth century there was a fief of Verdun in the arrondissement of Avranches; and, according to M, de Gerville, the cradle of the family was Barenton, in that neighbourhood." [1]

Early Origins of the Varden family

The surname Varden was first found in Buckinghamshire where they were descended from Bertram de Verdun, a Norman baronial name from Verdun, near Avranches in Normandy, where they were descended form the Counts of Verdun, and came to England in 1066 and was granted Farnham Royal in that shire. Tradition has it that on the day of the Coronation of William I, he provided a glove for the King's right hand. In 1095 he served as Sheriff of York. He also held lands in what is now known as Alveton or Alton in Staffordshire. [1]

"On June 14, 1188, William de Humez, then Constable of Normandy, and Bertram de Verdon, were assessors of the King in a Curia sitting at Geddington. Bertram de Verdon, accompanying King Richard in the crusade of 1190, died at Jaffa in 1192, and was buried at Acre." [1]

"The living [of Alveton], before the Reformation, was connected with the abbey of Croxden, to which the benefice was attached by Bertram de Verdun of Alton Castle, in 1176, after he had founded the abbey. The ruins of the castle still remain, on the summit of a rock 300 feet above the bed of the Churnet." [2]

Bertram de Verdon or Verdun (d. 1192), was an early English judge, the son of Norman de Verdun and Luceline, daughter of Geoffrey de Clinton, Chamberlain to Henry I. "He founded in 1176 the Cistercian abbey of Croxden in Staffordshire, where his chief lands were. " [3]

Theobald de Verdon (1248?-1309), was an English Baron, the son of John de Verdon (d. 1274), and his wife, Margaret de Lacy. "His grandfather, Theobald Butler, an Irish lord, married Rohese de Verdon, only daughter and heiress of Nicholas de Verdon, the last male representative of the Norman family of Verdon. They were lords of Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire, of Brandon Castle in Warwickshire, and possessors of large estates in Leicestershire and Staffordshire, where their principal residence, Alveton (or Alton) Castle, was situated, and where also was their chief religious foundation, the Cistercian abbey of Croxden, established in 1176 by Bertram de Verdon. " [3]

Early History of the Varden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Varden research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1184, 1839, 1780, 1870, 1770 and 1780 are included under the topic Early Varden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Varden Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Verdon, Verdan, Verdin, Verdun and others.

Early Notables of the Varden family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Varden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Varden family to Ireland

Some of the Varden family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Varden migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Varden or a variant listed above:

Varden Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Richard A Varden, aged 51, originally from London, who arrived in New York in 1905 aboard the ship "Etruria" from Liverpool, England [4]
  • Mary Frances Varden, aged 36, originally from Oldham, England, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [5]
  • Thomas Varden, aged 9, originally from Oldham, England, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [6]
  • Violet Varden, originally from Oldham, England, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [7]
  • Fife Varden, aged 25, originally from London, England, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mauritania" from Southampton, England [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Varden migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Varden Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Robert Varden U.E. who settled in Fredericksburgh [Greater Napanee], Ontario c. 1784 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Varden (post 1700) +

  • Norma Varden (1898-1989), English-born, American actress, known for her roles in Evergreen (1934), The Iron Duke (1934), Stormy Weather (1935) and East Meets West (1936) and as the Von Trapp housekeeper Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Evelyn Varden (1893-1958), American character actress, known for The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Bad Seed (1956) and Phone Call from a Stranger (1952)
  • Jan Fredrik "Janken" Varden (b. 1938), Norwegian actor, stage director and theatre educator


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JFHS-YPX : 6 December 2014), Richard A Varden, 17 Dec 1905; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Etruria, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QS-KY6 : 6 December 2014), Mary Frances Varden, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QS-KYX : 6 December 2014), Thomas Varden, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QS-KYF : 6 December 2014), Violet Varden, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J64C-L2Z : 6 December 2014), Fife Varden, 26 Sep 1919; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Mauritania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X


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