This unusual and interesting name is of Norman-French and possibly in some cases Venetian 11th century origins, in England. It is a locational surname and probably derives from a place called "Veniox" in Calvados, Normandy. The meaning and origin of the placename are uncertain, but may be connected with the French "Vent", meaning wind and hence "the windy place", or similar. However the eminent Victorian etymologist Canon C W Bardsley claimed that the name came from 'Venice', and as the coat of arms was granted in Lausanne, Switzerland, this is possible, at least with some nameholders. The surname is first recorded in the 12th Century in Hampshire (see below), and the modern spellings of the surname are Venes, Venis, Veness, Venise and Venus, these are usually recorded in the south and south-eastern counties of England. The early development and recordings of the surname includes William de Venuz, in the 1197 rolls of London known as 'Rotuli Chartolum', William de Venoiz in the 1205 pipe rolls of Essex, and John de Venuz in the Hundred Rolls of Essex in 1273. Later examples include Henry Venus who married Anne Starte, at St James church, Clerkenwell, on May 1st 1623, Thomas Veness who was christened on September 3rd 1772, at St. Paul's, Deptford, and Thomas Venes, who married Elizabeth Grocal at St Georges church, Hanover Square, Mayfair, London, on July 31st 1787. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Venuiz, which was dated 1130, in the pipe rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry I, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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