This name is of English topographic origin for someone who lived by a marsh or fen. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'fenn', translating as 'a low-lying marshy area', and is first recorded at the end of the 12th Century, (see below). In 1292 one, Richard atte Vanne appears in 'The King's Rolls at Wiltshire'. In medieval English dialects of the south west 'V' was regarded as the normal pronunciation of 'F'. The forms with an initial 'Fa' represents the East Saxon form of 'Fenn'. In the 'modern' idiom the name has seven spelling variations: Fann, Van(n), Vanne, Vanns, Vance and Venn. On April 23rd 1571 Magdalyn Venn married Andrewe Jeffery in North Petherton, Somerset and on February 9th 1590 Ursulay Vann and Charles Savadg (as spelt) were married in St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John del Fan. which was dated 1199 - The Pipe Rolls of Essex. during the reign of King Richard I, Richard The Lionheart 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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