This interesting surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress and occupation. In this instance the derivation is from the Old French "fin", fine, splendid, with "amour", love, and the nickname would have been given to a faithful friend. The surname is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and has many variant spellings ranging from Fenemore, Fenimore and Finnemore to Venimore and Vennimoore. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Thomas Venimore and Elizabeth Powell on November 22nd 1656 at St. Botolph Bishopsgate, London; the marriage of John Vinnimoore and Mary Herby on August 2nd 1660 at St. Sidwell's, Exeter, Devonshire; and the marriage of George Venmore and Mary Hart on January 1st 1673 at the Temple Church of England, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Finamur, which was dated 1204, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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