This is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Vernham's Dean in the county of Hampshire, and near to the town of Andover. The place name and hence the later surname means 'The house amongst the ferns', with the letter 'v' having replaced the original Olde English 'f', in a way which is quite common amongst names of the south and west of England. In fact this place is first recorded in the year 1219 in the thrird year of the reign of King Henry 111rd (1216 -1272) as Ferneham, the change to Vernham being from about 1550. Locational surnames are from' names'. That is to say names given to people after they left their original village for whatever reason, to move somewhere else. Here they were usually given as their surname, the name of their former home. In some case the move may only have been to the next village, but more often it was far away to London, the then mecca of the world, and probably the only place outside of their own village, that most people would have ever heard off. Not surprisingly almost every name in the British Isles is represented in the diocese of Greater London. The earliest recording of the surname may be that of John de Varnham in the list of freemen of the city of York in the year 1299.
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