Vennison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Vennison 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 Vennison family

The surname Vennison 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 Vennison family

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

Vennison 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 Venison, Veness, Venes, Venis, Venus, Vennison, Venoix and many more.

Early Notables of the Vennison family (pre 1700)

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


United States Vennison 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 Vennison or a variant listed above:

Vennison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J. Vennison went to San Francisco with his wife in 1852


  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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook