Forum Irish Vennard Names Overview

Emigration Records.NEW

The List
of Vennards from the web
Heros To the Pictures A Poem or Two Indexes of Vennard B/M/D ....NEW
Authors Vennards around the World Trees & Relationships Research
PDF's Return to Opening Page Disclaimer Links Page
Crest Tartan Databases....NEW Irish Maps

Let me point out here that there is a lot of information below, you will just have to plow through it, type written stuff is not real attention getting...
Origins of the Name, Naming Conventions, Connecting to Kings, How to Relate... ,A Note on History, Speculations & Rumors- just scroll down...

Speculations and Rumor- The Vennard Name

The word vennard is a French colloquialism meaning "You lucky Fellow." I have heard this definition on at least two separate occasions. (And since verified by an independent Vennard {Brian} on two more occasions. Dating the name back to the13th century literature.) Along with the definition, an origin attributed to the word is "somewhere in the Normandy part of France." I am unable to corroborate this last information. But it is a good way to start the story. One rumor relates that the name came to the British Isles with William the Conqueror in 1066, or there abouts. The other is that just after the St. Bartholomew day massacre of the French Huguenots in August 1572, the people that survived fled to Ireland and England. At the present time folks are searching for the connection, but as far as I know we have none. (One could speculate here, a reason for the lost link is, they could have changed their names to Vennard at this time. Especially given the meaning of the word.)- Mike Vennard

The French word meaning "Lucky Fellow" is Veinard pronounced {veh nar}. Go to this link and click on the word to hear it pronounced.( ) - John Vennard

I have recently heard from a New Hampshire Vennard who proposes the following from her research:
Looking up the Vennard name the researcher said it had old Celtic origins evolving from the name O Lionnane, which became Leonard and then Vennard. Leonard meaning brave as a Lion. The Ven prefix was supposed to mean anything to do with hunting and the suffix ard is an ending meaning more intense or greater. This turns out to mean great hunter or deerhunter. This is also in the Wagnells dictionary. They also mentioned some Norman background to the name. I know the Vikings had large settlements in Normandy (which was named after the Northmen). They also had settlements in Northern Ireland and Wales. But then, who knows? Anyway I think the Vennards were a vibrant and dynamic lot with courage and spirit. The address for listed some info at the genealogy section and I also got information from searching Irish surnames and the Wagnells dictionary for prefixes and suffixes.-Granny Ellen, New Hampshire Return to Top


Origins of the name Vennard

The name 'Vennard' is thought to have a least two distinct authentic origins French and English.

As a name of French origin, 'Venard' is a regional form of an older name Guenard a patronymic form of the Germanic words 'wan' and 'hard', meaning strong and hopeful. This spelling of Venard is that currently used in France. It also appears as 'Venaud' in the French. It is said that the name is traceable to the 13th Century French. Various copies of the Venard coat of arms exist; which may, or may not, be genuine.

This French origin is strongly linked to Protestant Huguenot connections, although there were also Catholics by that name in recent French history. A Catholic missionary by the name of Theophane Venard was martyred in Indo China in the 19th Century, and there are several instances of Catholic marriages in the British Isles and USA of Ven(n)ards.

There are old and well-established records of Vennards (the anglicised form of spelling, plus variants) in England and Ireland. The earliest so far identified is that from the Walloon Church at Norwich of a Jacque Venant of 1566, and the marriage of a Catherine Venant in 1628 at the French Church, Canterbury. Canterbury and Norwich were centres for refugees from Flanders. These were chiefly Walloons, French speaking from French Flanders suggesting that this branch of Venant came from that area. The name also appears at an early date in London. From the Registers of the French Church in Threadneedle Street, London, there is the baptism of the son of a Catherine Venant in 1642. These, and other documents e.g. Census records, show variations in spelling in S. E. England (i.e. Veniards / Venard / Vinyard)

The West Country name (mainly Cornwall) could have a distinct origin. It has been suggested that it is derived from the Cornish 'wyn-ard', meaning 'dweller at a high marsh'. The name is now uncommon in that area, with many of these descendants having migrated to North America. Those currently in Devon and Cornwall can mostly be traced back to an Irish ancestor.

Most evidence of Vennards in Ireland is within the Province of Ulster, and can be linked back to a French Huguenot origin. Families in that region all state strong links of their ancestors with the arrival with William of Orange for the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. This may, or may not, be so; but it is also likely that there were several distinct arrivals of Vennard individuals from that period on. Currently at least 13 distinct family lines have been compiled, some of which can be traced back to the 1700's. Many were weavers and settled in Ulster to work within the Linen industry. Subsequent migrations to Scotland, England, North America and further afield can account for the majority of descendants with this spelling of the name.

A distinct group of early settlers, pensioners of William of Orange, can be found in the registers of the French Church at Portarlington (Dublin, Republic of Ireland). From 1697 there were children baptised with the surname Veigneur (sometimes Le Veigneur), and by the 1730's as Vinard. >From the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Ireland (1845 onwards) the name had been further anglicised to Vennard or Venard. Within the island of Ireland Vennard is now an uncommon name. In the 2001 telephone directories for Northern Ireland there are 40 Vennard households listed, and in the Republic of Ireland just 3 (around the Dublin area).

Throughout the world the name has also been variously spelt (or mis-spelt). In addition to appearing in the older records as Vennard or Venard it also occurs as Vennart, Venhart, Venner, Vinyard, Vineyard, Vinard etc. In many cases these variations are thought to have occurred due to the fact that most of the early records were of illiterate individuals. The various spellings reflected their regional accent when written down by others recording events such as births / marriages/ deaths, Census details, emigration registrations etc. Some variations were carried on within some families down the generations. However, within English speaking countries it has now generally been standardised as Vennard or Venard.

- Sue Turner, 2001 Return to Top

A Note on History

There may well have been some Vennards in Ireland who trace their origins back to the Huguenots fleeing France during the 1560's during the religious civil wars in that country. However, Henry IV ended the religious wars when he issued the Edict of Nantes in 1592, granting the Huguenots a good deal of religious freedom, so they were relatively comfortable in France for a good number of years. However, Louis XIV believed that religious unity was important for national unity, and so in 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes, thus outlawing any public worship by the Protestants. It was at this time that the big Huguenot exodus from France occurred - some fleeing to America or to the Netherlands - and about 10,000-15,000 to Ireland. So it is most likely that our Vennards came to Ireland after 1685 -- interesting enough, just in time to be used by the English in "planting" Ulster after many Catholic Irish had been driven from their lands there following their defeat in the Battle of the Boyne in 1689. The Huguenots in Ireland were always associated with the development of the linen industry in Ulster. Interesting that George Vennard of Cloncore was listed as a "weaver."

-Fr.Dominc Monti, Professor of Church History in the Department of Theology, St. Bonaventure U., 2003 Return to Top


Naming Conventions and Traditions

Alex Gilmore of Australia sent me these two pieces of information. Alex is related to us by Syd Vennard of Australia and back toward Portadown...

Irish Naming Patterns:

after paternal grandfather
after maternal grandfather
after father
after father's oldest brother
after mother's oldest brother
after maternal grandmother
after paternal grandmother
after mother
after mother's oldest sister
after father's oldest sister
NB: 1. Sometimes when naming grandson after grandfather the grandfather's first and middle names are reversed 2. Irish custom of naming the first daughter after Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary Return to Top


Irish Research: Connecting to the High Kings!!
The question of relationship is basic to the field of genealogy. Can I prove descent from the last High King of Ireland, or indeed from any King of Ireland? Did my family have a title or coat of arms? The reality is that the search for our Irish ancestors is more likely to end in a one-room cottage on the side of a mountain than in the country house of a landed gentry family! Genealogical research can tell us little about our earlier ancestors. Most of us with some or all of our roots firmly in Irish soil are restricted to identifying five or six generations and there the trail grows cold. What then of our earlier ancestors? Simple mathematics can throw more light on our earlier ancestry that any number of hours of research. We all have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-greats, thirty two great-great-greats, etc. By the time you calculate ten generations previous to yourself you will find you have a total of one thousand and twenty four persons from whom you are directly descended. This figure increases dramatically over a further ten generations to one million, forty eight thousand, five hundred and seventy six. A generation is normally taken to be a thirty-year period. Twenty generations therefore brings us back to the year 1400. If we were able to visit Ireland in that year, we could with accuracy call everyone `granddad` and `grandma` and the task of visiting all the relations would prove rather time consuming! While we may be more closely related to those who share our own surname, the reality is that we all share common origins. Our family tree is a complex network of inter-relationships that make a spider`s web appear simplistic. Those of us who have Irish ancestry are related hundreds of times over. The documentary research we undertake merely scratches at the top leaf of the top branch of a very high tree. Genetic studies using DNA will eventually unravel some of the mysteries of relationships between national and racial groups, population movements, etc. In the meantime we can be assured of our descent from every king and conqueror, military leader and murderer, that lived in Ireland in Medieval times and before. Regards. Alex Gilmore. Return to Top

Relations...Tween you and everyone else.

Cou and Cous are Cousin, the R stands for Removed. I'll do this over one day and make it look better.

Return to Top