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Varnum Coat of Arms / Varnum Family Crest

Varnum Coat of Arms / Varnum Family Crest

The surname of VARNUM was a locational name 'of Vernes' in France. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conqueror in 1066. Early records of the name mention Richard de Vernon who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086, Chester. William de Vernun was documented in 1130, in the County of Westmorland. James Varnam of London, registered at Oxford University in 1585. Charles Varnham and Maria Harris were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1802. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. A notable member of the name was Robert Vernon (1774-1849) the English breeder of horses, known as the 'father of the turf'. He was a member of Parliament from 1754 until 1790, and founder of the Jockey Club, and established horse-training at Newmarket. In 1847 he gave to the nation the Vernon Gallery. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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