Recorded as Venable and Venables, this interesting name is English but of Norman-French origins. It is locational from a place called Venables in the arrondissement of Louviers in Eure, Normandy. The surname was introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Conquest of 1066. The placename is derived from the Latin word "venabulum", meaning hunting ground, a derivative of the verb "venari", to hunt. The surname was first recorded in England at the beginning of the 13th century (see below), and the modern surname has the unusual distinction of surviving unchanged for seven hundred years. Early examples of name spelling include William de Venables in the Shropshire Hundred Rolls of 1275, and Thomas Venables, of Buckinghamshire, appears in the Register of the University of Oxford for 1616. The marriage of William Venables and Margaret Bryan was recorded at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, on April 19th 1573. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Venables. This was dated circa 1200, in the Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, Lancashire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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