Venes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Venes surname is derived for the German words "Vogel," meaning "bird" and "Sang," meaning "song." The name is generally thought to be of nickname origin, that is, the original bearer of the name may have been a singer. Alternatively the name may have been of locative origin from a place where one could hear bird songs. The American surname Birdsong is a direct translation of the Germanic name Vogelsang.

Alternatively, the name could have been Norman, having derived from Venoix, near Caen which was held by the hereditary Marshals of the Stable of the Dukes of Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Venes family

The surname Venes was first found in Kent where in the year 1314, John Venesoun was listed in the Feet of Fines. [2]

Four brothers of this house are entered in Domesday: Robert de Hastings (see Hastings); Roger; Ceroid; and Gosfrid. The latter was the father of Gilbert, who, with his son John, was impleaded by Robert de Venoix and William de Hastings for the Office of Mareschal to the King, which, although it could not have been theirs by right of birth, they then held, and successfully maintained. John espoused the cause of the Empress Maud, and was rewarded on her son's accession with lands of great value in Wiltshire. [1]

Henry II. further confirmed the office of Lord Mareschal to the next heir, his son John, who accordingly bore the great gilt Spurs at the coronation of Coeur de Lion, and was succeeded by his brother William at that time one of the great potentates of the land in 1199. [1]

Early History of the Venes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Venes research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1334, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Venes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Venes Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Venison, Veness, Venes, Venis, Venus, Vennison, Venoix and many more.

Early Notables of the Venes family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Venes family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Venes or a variant listed above: Ben Venison who went to Virginia in 1654; or the unknown Venus who settled there in 1698. Elizabeth Venus and Elizabeth Venns were brought to the New World in bondage, in 1736.



  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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