Venter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Venter is derived from the Middle English word "aventurous," meaning "the venturous." [1]

Another source "suggests La Ventrouse in the arrondissement of Montagne, Normandy, as the home of the family." [2]

Following the Norman theme, we found Ralph Ventras, or Vintras, Normandy 1180-95 in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae. [3]

Early Origins of the Venter family

The surname Venter was first found in Huntingdonshire where William A Ventur was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. Years later, William le Ventre was found in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. Francis Ventreys was listed in the Feet of Fines for Huntingdonshire in 1600. [1]

Some records point to Cambridgeshire, where the family was first referenced in the 13th century when they held a family seat at Wittlesford.

The Venters variant is typically found in Scotland where the name is "current in Fife," but like the English variants, there is much debate as to the origin. [4]

Early History of the Venter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Venter research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1586, 1614, 1650, 1642, 1674, 1645, 1691, 1645, 1653, 1654, 1661, 1681, 1688, 1689, 1603 and 1610 are included under the topic Early Venter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Venter Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Venter family name include Ventris, Ventres, Venters, Ventrus, Ventras, Venture, Ventures, Ventrice, Ventriss, Fentress, Fentris and many more.

Early Notables of the Venter family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Peyton Ventris (1645-1691), English judge and politician. He was the "eldest surviving son of Edward Ventris, barrister-at-law, of Gray's Inn and Granhams, Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire (a scion of a Bedfordshire family of some antiquity), by Mary, daughter of John Breuse of Wenham Hall, Suffolk, was born at Wenham Hall in November 1645. He was admitted on 3 Feb. 1653-1654 a member of the Middle Temple, where he was called to the bar on 2 June 1661. Failing to secure a practice, he devoted himself to...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Venter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Venter Ranking

In South Africa, the name Venter is the 52nd most popular surname with an estimated 78,988 people with that name. [5]


United States Venter migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Venter surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Venter Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Adam Venter, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [6]
  • Petter Venter, aged 20, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1740 [6]
  • Fredk Venter, aged 27, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1753 [6]
Venter Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • G F Venter, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806 [6]
  • Johann Venter, who landed in Brazil in 1851 [6]
  • Harman Venter, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [6]
  • Thomas Venter, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1860 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Venter (post 1700) +

  • John Craig Venter (b. 1946), American biologist and entrepreneur, one of the first to sequence the human genome
  • Dr. Elizabeth "Rina" Venter (b. 1938), South African politician, Minister of National Health and Population Development (1989 to 1994)
  • Jacobus "Kosie" Francois Venter (b. 1969), former South Arican cricketer
  • Major-General Christoffel "Boetie" Venter CB DFC with bar (1892-1977), South African military commander
  • William Peter "Bill" Venter (b. 1934), South African businessman, entrepreneur and industrialist
  • Brendan Venter (b. 1969), South African former rugby union player
  • Shaun Venter (b. 1987), South African rugby union footballer
  • Francois Venter (b. 1991), South African rugby union footballer
  • André Gerhardus Venter (b. 1970), former South African rugby union footballer


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/south-africa/surnames
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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