Virnant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Virnant reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Virnant family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Virnant family lived in Normandy where it is a "Norman baronial name." [1] One of the first on record was Roger, "Baron of Venron c. 1030." [1] Another reference claims the first record of the name was "William de Vernon, who assumed that surname from the town and district of Vernon, in Normandy, of which he was proprietor in 1052." [2]

Vernon Castle in Normandy was the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

The family take their name from "the castle and chatelletiie of Vernon, now a commune in the arrondissement of Evreux, which gives its name to the surrounding canton, 'one of the most picturesque and luxuriant of the vine districts.' The castle must have been strong; for Orderic tells us that in 1152 it was besieged by Louis King of France with a large army, and he, after a long leaguer, was fain to enter into a secret negotiation with Richard de Vernon to raise the Royal banner on his tower." [3]

Early Origins of the Virnant family

The surname Virnant was first found in Cheshire at Shipbrook(e), where William de Vernon was granted lands by Hugh d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester. His son Richard settled at Shipbrook(e), near Northwich.

The Cheshire family which had become the Barons of Shipbrooke, "became connected with Derbyshire by the heiress of Avenell's marriage with Richard Vernon in the 12th century; [and their] daughter and heiress married to Gilbert de Francis, whose son took the name of Vernon, seated himself at Haddon Hall in this county, and was the ancestor of the different branches of the House of Vernon." [4]

"The manor [of Draycott-in the-Clay] was included in the Conqueror's gift to Henry de Ferrers, and has for many ages been possessed by the noble family of Vernon. In a meadow beyond Draycott mill are the ruins of an ancient mansion, surrounded by a moat." [5]

Early History of the Virnant family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Virnant research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1030, 1229, 1236, 1249, 1577, 1625, 1621, 1622, 1605, 1676, 1660, 1676, 1665, 1721, 1715 and 1721 are included under the topic Early Virnant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Virnant Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Virnant family name include Vernon, Vernen, Vernin and others.

Early Notables of the Virnant family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Vernon, High Sheriff of Lancashire, Chief Justice of Cheshire (1229 to 1236); Warine Vernon, 4th Baron of Shipbrook, married Alice heiress of Nether Haddon and Haddon Hall, Derbyshire; his son Sir Richard was Chief Justice in 1249; Richard Vernon, Baron of Shipbrook, one of seven great barons created by the kinglet, Earl Lupus of Chester, cousin...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Virnant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Virnant family to Ireland

Some of the Virnant family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Virnant family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Virnant family to immigrate North America: Daniel Vernon who settled in Rhode Island in 1630; Randle and Robert Vernon settled in Delaware in 1685; John Vernon and his wife settled in New Jersey in 1685.



  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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