This surname of VENTO was derived from the Old French 'aventure' a nickname for a bold or venturesome person, originally rendered in Latin documents as ADVENTURA (meaning chance, happening). This form of the name appears in the 13th century. It was also an Italian, Spanish, Catalan and Portugese surname from a medieval given name, a short form of BONAVENTURA 'Good Fortune'. The name was borne in honour of a saint (1221-74) who was given his nickname by St. Francis of Assisi when he cured him miraculously as a child. The name is also spelt VENTRISS, VENTURI, TURA, VENTURELLA, TURELLA, VENTURE, ABENTEUER, EBENTEUER and HEBENTHEIER to name but a few. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. A notable member of the name was Michael George Francis VENTRIS (1922-56) the English linguist (though by profession an architect) born in Wheathampstead. As a teenager he became interested in undeciphered Minoan scripts found at a palace site in Crete. His later analysis proved an early form of Greek. He wrote 'Documents in Mycenaean Greek' jointly with John Chadwick, which was published shortly after his death. As early as the year 1100, it was quite common for English people to give French names to their children, and the earliest instances are found among the upper classes, both the clergy and the patrician families. The Norman-French names used were generally the names most commonly used by the Normans, who had introduced them into England during the Norman Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066.
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