This very interesting surname is English but of Norman-French origins. Although apparently suggesting association with the Roman goddess of love, it is in fact locational from the village of Venoix, a place in the departement of Calvados, in the former dukedom of Normandy. Introduced into England by followers of Duke William of Normandy at the time of the famous invasion of England in 1066, the surname is first recorded in the early part of the 12th century as shown below. There are many examples of these recordings, and samples taken from the surviving rolls and charters of the medieval period include: William de Venuz, in the Charter Rolls of Hampshire in 1197; Robert de Veniz, listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Hampshire in 1203; and William de Venus, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Warwickshire in the year 1230. In the modern idiom the surname is also spelt as Venes, Veness, Venis and Venise, leading, in some cases, to the erroneous conclusion that the name is locational from the Italian city of Venice. The spelling Venus is particularly widespread in the north east of England, and recordings include: the christening of Ann Venus, at St. Margaret's, Durham, on April 8th 1626, and the marriage of Elizabeth Venus to Robert Sawer at Lythe, Yorkshire, on May 16th 1647. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Venuiz. This was dated 1130, in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 1st of England, also known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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