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Vena Coat of Arms / Vena Family Crest

The surname of VENA is a variant of Veness, a locational name 'of Venoix' in Calvados, France. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion, and Robert de Venuiz who appears in the year 1130, appears to be the first of the name on record. William de Venuz was documented in 1197, and Robert de Veniz was recorded in 1203 in County Hampshire. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Other records of the name mention Robert de Venuiz, 1130 County Hampshire. William de Venuz de Venoiz, 1200 Chester. Robert de Veniz, 1203 Hampshire and William de Venue was mentioned in the year 1230 in Wales. Edward Veness of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances mention Henry Venus and Ann Starte who were wed at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1623, and Thomas Venes and Elizabeth Grocal married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1787. John Cotton and Venus Levat were married at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in 1631. It may be added that Venus (of which this name is a variant) representing the goddess of love, became a baptismal name for a short while during the 15th century. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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