Battle in East Sussex Town Guide

Veness Family History

Could any residents of Battle, or anyone who has been to Battle recently please send me their views on the town as a matter of urgency.

96 responses to “Veness Family History”

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    I have records stating that family called Veness were married and baptised in Battle, finding it difficult to locate churches in that area, if anyone could advise on both veness and churches it would be great, thanks Roseleen

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    Hello Roseleen

    I have some baptisms, marriages, and burials for the surname VENESS at Battle parish church and in nearby parishes (e.g. Ashburnham). If you’d like me to check my records I’d be happy to do so. Can you give me more info on the Veness family you’re interested in?

    Kind regards

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    Hiya Caroline, Sorry i didnt get back to you sooner, have been attending Hsps.I have a samuel venes, born 1753 Son of (Thomas and mary Grant) married a sarah about 1780 thay had thomas 1781? samuel 1786, lenni and Richard,But there were two richards (1810) (1807) Samuel 1786 Moved to worcs then Bham also in worcs there was a richard he was married to a deliah Spray in 1829 St Peters Chichester. Delia moved back to sussex When Richard died, sam and james may be brothers ? They were thew only two familys in Worcs, I hope you can help and thankyou for getting back to me Roseleen (Birmingham)

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    Hello Roseleen

    I have a marriage for Samuel Veness, bachelor, to Sarah Stonestreet, spinster, at Battle on 10 January 1781.
    The only baptisms at Battle that I have for children of Samuel and Sarah Veness are:-
    Thomas 18 May 1781; Ann 20 June 1800; Henry 22 May 1806.
    I couldn’t find a marriage in Sussex for Thomas Veness and Mary Grant but there was a marriage for a Richard Venes and Mary Grant (of Brightling) at Battle by licence on 21 June 1730.

    I hope this is useful, and I’m happy to look further in my resources for Sussex if you can give parishes, approx dates etc.
    Best wishes

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    Hello Caroline

    I hope you don’t mind me joining in this discussion, but I am researching the same branch of the Veness family as Roseleen! I am carrying out the research on behalf of my wife.

    In a nutshell, I recently moved to St Leonards, East Sussex, and have been researching the Birmingham line of Veness’s for a while -and was intrigued to discover that the family originated just up the road from where we now live!

    I am after advice on where to find out more about the Veness’s of Battle and Brightling. I will be visiting Lewes soon to look at the county archives. However, does Battle itself have any kind of archive?

    Best Wishes

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    Hello Jeff

    I suggest you head for the East Sussex County Records Office (ESRO)at Lewes where the parish records are held.
    There isn’t any kind of archive at Battle as far as I’m aware although there is a museum, and the Battle Historical Society has a small collection of books.
    ESRO is the place to go, and the staff are very helpful there.
    Kind regards

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    Hello Caroline

    Thank you very much for your help with this. I am going to pay them a visit in the next couple of weeks!
    All the best

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    I have a long list of Veness family from Battle and Deptford if you are still interested.

    I am compiling a database of the Veness clan that started from Battle (1600’s) earliest date

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    I have a lot of information on the Veness’s from 1572 from around Battle, Hastings etc. My maiden name is Veness and I am interested in any other info.

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    Hi Roseleen,
    I have a friend who’s just got interested in family history and his wife’s surname is Veness and she came from the Bradford St Digbeth area of the city. Is there any way he could view your tree to see if there are any relations.
    Regards John T Smith (Birmingham)

  11.  avatar

    Can you share your database? Really interested in finding more about them.


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    Hi Caroline
    At the moment my freind has no database he’s only just toying with the idea of family history as a hobby as he’s just retired. We were discusing it over a drink one evening as I’ve been involved with mine on and off for about twenty year’s, this is when he mentioned his wife’s surname was Veness. I will ask next time I see them her parents name’s and any relations she might remember and the address were she was born and lived until she moved to Northfield.
    Get back to you soon
    Regardss John

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    I have the database on Reunion – I can export as web pages. Would be interested in comparing my information on the early history – I am confident of the Australian entries, but would like verification for the England data as has been collected from a number of sources over many years.

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    Richard, you may be my salvation.I also use Reunion for Mac, and I’m stuck on this one:
    I have Lucy Veness, Camden, NSW 1859-1914 m. Arthur Burton Hawkey 1858-1935; her parents John Veness 1808-1879 b. Battle, ship “Florist” to Sydney 1839 w/wifte Ann Brett 1817-1895. I thought I had John’s origins right with father Thomas Veness b.1781 in Battle, M. Mary Davis 1782, Battle. So far, so good.
    But now I have seen an Australian site with the same Lucy, same husband, all the right children, but with an entirely different lineage: George Veness and Sarah Fegan?

    One of these is wrong. You say you have a good grip on the Australian side?

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    Osmund, I can help, The 2nd Lucy was the daughter of George and Sarah Mary Feagan – George is the elder brother of my G Grandfather This is the Manilla branch. This Lucy married James William Worth. George was born in Deptford. The first Lucy is from Camden branch, it is most likely that they never met in real life. Both of these branches are well documented thus your data is correct.
    The two branches are linked back to Issac and Mary Russell (Brightling).

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    Hi Richard,

    I am descended from the Camden branch of the Veness family and would love to share any further information you have on the tree. At this stage I have only been able to trace back to Thomas Veness and Mary Davis. Would appreciate anything further you have – happy to also share what I have.


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    Hi Carolyn,

    If your father’s name was Phillip Edward then I can help. My source for the Camden branch was Robyn Bennett – also descendent from Thomas and Mary Davis

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    Hi Richard,

    My father’s name wasn’t Philip Edward. I don’t know who that is actually.

    My great grandmother was Jane Alice Veness, who married Charles Wesley Smart. I haven’t met Robyn Bennett, but I would be interested to know where she fits in and get in contact with her.

    Would you be able to email me so we can discuss this further – carolyn.littlefair[at symbol]

    Many thanks,

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    Hallo Richard, I have only found out this week that my grandfather’s uncle George Thomas Veness came to Austalia and I believe may be the same one who settled in Manilla. My grandfather was Charles William Veness of Essex, England. I am in Perth WA.

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    Vanessa – I have quite a lot of info on George but I can’t find Charles so would be interested in the connection. If you drop me a line at [reveal email] I’ll try and update you on what I have.
    Regards, Caroline

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    Hello Vanessa,
    Your Grandfather Charles william Veness of Essex which I can trace his forebear Charles Veness (b 21 Feb 1797) the son of Thomas Veness & Grace Waghorn of Deptford, London, incidently John the brother of Charles was born 3 Dec 1798, this was my Great Great Great Grandfather. Daniel Edward Veness the 7th child of John (b1798) & mary Ann nee Evans, he emigrated to Australia in 1855 & settled Manillia near Tamworth, NSW. Please contact me more for more details – [reveal email]

  22.  avatar

    Hello Caroline,

    I have collected Veness genealogy. The first Veness came to Brightling in c1570’s from Normandy, France – Nichol Venie. In the 16th and 17th century there were various VENIS families across Sussex, but my ancestor appears to have originated as VENIE. Nichol VENIE, Frenchman, later called VENIS, who lived in Brightling in the late of 16th century. I am descendant from Nichol down to Australia Veness. I have lots information of the Veness and variant in East Sussex from 16th to 20th century. I would love to have exchange and please contact me for some details: [reveal email]

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    Vanessa – I do have your grandfather in my tree – I just couldn’t find him. If you want to get in touch on [reveal email] we can share info.
    Regards, Caroline

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    In reply to Samuel Venice (Veness) of Worcester, a Dyer. He married to Mary Spadling in 1814 and had 5 issues. Sam died in 1849 aged 65 yrs, which led to his birth in c1784, unfortunately no record of his baptism can be found, no details from Brightling and Battle. Amusing if the error of age, Sam died in 1849 perhap aged 55 yrs, this would mean he was born in 1794 for which i have got a record – 5th Oct 1794 at Brightling the son of Sam & Sarah nee Stonestreet. Sam senior was baptised 14 Dec 1753 the son of Thomas & Mary nee Grant. he married 10 Jan 1781 at Battle and had 10 children, there was possibly two sons of the above – John (1792) & Henry (1805-82) sentenced to be transported to Australia on ship “Prince Orange” (excecuted, but imprisoned being guilty in highway robbing) in 1821, both from Battle, Sussex.

    Sam Venes died in Marylebone, London aged 81 yrs on 15 May 1833, his wife Sarah died 26 Feb 1836 aged 72 yrs.

    In regards to the whereabout of Richard Veness, he is not related to sam Veness, obviously both branches were connected to Isaac Venice (1706-660. Richard was born 1806 in Brightling the son of Thomas & Maria, unfortunately no baptism records, he married Delia Spray 4 Oct 1829 at Chichester & had 4 issues. Richard died in 25 Fen 1838 aged 32 yrs at Hartlebury, worcestershire. Later delia remarried 1844 to edward Millman at Kidderminster and resided in Worcestershire, only on of her son Alfred moved to eastbourne & Thomas’s settled in swindon, 3 of his sons emigrated to USA. I hope this is clear in detail.

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    Richard, Please contact me as I unable to contact your email address in regards Northbrook Farm, Manilla, NSW, Australia. Our ancestor Daniel Edward Veness built it. Here my email address [reveal email]

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    Slight correct to Delia & Richards children. They had five Arabella Maria born 1830 lived in Worcestershire, Jane 1831 also Worcestershire. Thomas 1833 lived Swindon, Alfred 1836 lived Eastbourne, Louisa 1838 moved around as didn’t marry till late. Richard Died 1839 yrs. Both Delia & Edward died Swindon. There three children Edward lived in Staffordshire and both Mary & Elizabeth lived in Swindon.

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    Hi, Have just found site … my great grandfather Samuel Smart married Mary Ann Veness – Mary Ann’s father is John Veness born 1808 Battle married to Ann Britt/Brett . John’s father Thomas born 1781 Battle – also connected through the Southwell side of the family Sanson Southwell married Elizabeth Veness – I am from Australia and I would like to know if we can go back further than Thomas married to Mary davis and anything about the early family – huge thanks for contact.

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    Cecile, Short answer – yes we can trace back to 1600’s. I can send PDF’s of charts for both lines as I have then.


    Dick Veness

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    Dick, thanks for your reply … would love you to send PDF files … is there anything I could send to you? Re: pictures etc if you need them. My email is [reveal email]

  30.  avatar

    Hi Richard, Did you ever work in South Africa? I worked with a Richard Veness for a few weeks though we did not establish if there was any family connection.

    My Mom’s maiden name is Veness and her father was Charles William Veness.

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    Sorry not me – I have never been to South Africa.

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    My paternal grandmother was Lilian Margaret Veness born 1881 Fulham London. Her father John William Veness was born in 1843 Rotherfield Sussex and died 1898 in Battle. I have followed what I believe is her timeline to Nicholas Devenoix (Veness) 1562. How can I verify that the information I have is correct? Heidi

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    This is not easy to verify but there is a Nicholas De Venoix that is a common ancestor. I do not have Lilian Margaret nor a John william on my data base – but my data is based on the Australian decedents and not UK bias. Robin Herdman maybe able to assist

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    I cannot find your grandmother or your great grandfather in my tree. I also go back to Nichol Venie (Nicholas Devenoix). I cannot find either Lilian or John in census’s either. Are you sure of the dates? I do have John William Veness born in Middlesex in 1842, married to Ellen with a daughter Lily born in 1881. This is in the 1881 census and on my database. She married Frederick Matthews. If this is any help let me know.
    Regards… Caroline

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    I have been going over this and find I was wrong about John William Veness. He was born in Rotherfield, Sussex and he is my Great Grandfather! Contact me at [reveal email] and I will tell you more.
    Regards …. Caroline

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    To all: My father-in-law was Frank William Veness (he passed away a month ago ages 95). He was a prolific genealogist and I have 2000 thousand names in the database going back to James Venis (1594-) and Ann Burrill (abt 1597-). His line goes back through those who came out to Australia on the “Florist”. If I can be of help then you can email me at [reveal email] . To Vanessa McBain, we also live in Perth, WA. I produced a family book on his line and the Veness family origins and other sof his family. I converted this to work in a browser for anyone interested (don’t rush me!).



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    Hi Stuart,

    I would love to find out more from you.

    Sarah Veness
    [reveal email]

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    Hi Sarah,

    I will send you my contact details direct to your email address.



  39.  avatar

    Hi Stuart,

    We are not so distant relatives, my name is Jenny Quinn (nee Keane), I have Veness in my family tree, and two years back whilst in Perth visited your brother in law Kevin Veness. My connection with the Veness clan is my great grandfather Isaac Edward Veness who was born in Randwick in 1888 and died in 1963. We live in Brisbane and would love any additional information on the Veness family, Kevin supplied us with a CD with some family tree history on it but the more we have the more we can cross check.



  40.  avatar

    Hi Stuart I would love to catch up with you. I am in NZ temporarily until about April though home for Christmas my contact details are [reveal email] I will be there from 21 Dec to 10 Jan, we live in Leeming tel [reveal tel] (when I am in Aus it’s not roaming)

  41.  avatar


    I noticed your message,

    I have some information in respect to Isaac Edward Veness but not complete – this does link the family to England.

    my email address is [reveal email] I can send a pdf of the tree as I have.

    I also have Stuart’s CD but have not added any additional data – time constraints.


    Dick Veness

  42.  avatar


    Nice to hear from you. I can’t remember Kevin ever mentioning it to us, but could have done to his father, Frank, who died in March this year.
    Send me your email address to [reveal email] so I can contact you directly.

    The CD he gave you was probably the one I did.



  43.  avatar

    Hi Vanessa,

    I’m home most of the time. So when you are back, and free, just call me on [reveal tel] . I live in Jane Brook.



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    Hope you enjoyed the CD. If you want it, I can give you Isaac Edward’s lineage back to James Venis (1594-?).



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    If it helps the blacksmith in Ashburnham in the sixties was Cliff Veness.

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    Thanks, Alan – Will look further later. Just had eye surgery and not seeing too well.



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    Hi, I just tried sending you an email. I am also descended from James and Ann, but through their son Richard. I would love to see your info – though I must confess I have pitifully little from way back then, so can offer nothing in return – except perhaps distant cousin-ship!

  48.  avatar

    Hi Caroline and Robin, I am contacting you about my link to The Venesses through my ggrandmother, Elizabeth Veness born 1880 in Birmingham. (Caroline, we may have had contact in the past.) Have sent an email – I hope either this or the email address reaches you both as I would love to learn more. Alisan Greeff

  49.  avatar

    Alison, I had forgotten all about this. Veness is my wife’s family name and I do have masses of material – actually written a book on it for my family. If I can help, contact me on [reveal email] . Regards, Stuart

  50.  avatar


    I have Vaness in my family tree. Can anyone help me please?


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    I am a descendant from James and Ann and just tracing my family tree for the first time. Any help from anyone please to [reveal email]

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    Ann, I don’t do much any more – too old – but feel free to email me at [reveal email] and I will give you all the info I can. You say James and Ann but give no years. However, it is probably James Veness (1825) and Ann Burgess (1816). I can help with some information on these. Regards, Stuart Oliver

  53.  avatar

    Hi Stuart,

    I can trace my family back to Nicholas Venis 1562 in France. It then traces:
    James Venis 1594-1689 with Ann Burrill
    Richard Venis 1621-1682 with Ann au Venis
    Isaac Venis 1659-1708 with Mary Olley.

    I am having trouble tracing Nicholas Venis back and would love any information you have.

    I am Ann Armstrong formerly Stevens the granddaughter of Thomas Herbert Venes Stevens 1893-1977

    Many thanks.

  54.  avatar

    Hi Ann, I got your email. I will get back to you soon. (I don’t think anyone has been able to go back to before Nicholas!) Alisan

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    I have followed my father’s mother’s line to Nicholas in France as well. Try the name De Venoix as this is the French name. Veness did not seem to start until they established themselves in England. Another tip is the spellings can differ: Veness, Venice, Veniss, Venis, Venes, are just a few. This is a lot due to bad handwriting and interpretation.

  56.  avatar

    Am just linking in again. I have not gone any further back … sorry … but was wondering if you have any accounts of their lives, how they lived or any family stories as I am really interested in the social history …

  57.  avatar

    Likewise, B’ham, but stuck. Any stories or knowledge concerning an Ann Sophia V*N*SS born abt 1828?

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    Any chance the couple had an additional child Ann Sophia V*N*SS born abt 1828? My 3xGGM.

  59.  avatar

    I have been successful, through a fortuitous root, to connect my 3xGGM as a daughter of Samuel VENESS, the silk dyer in Worcester. Her sister, Elizabeth, is the root of the Birmingham VENESS family through her illegitimate son John Bacon VENESS. It was a complex search. Samuel is not of WOR county, so like many others if probably from SSX, born between 1782 & 1786. He is not the Dallington Samuel of the same age, who is also on the 1841 census. I suspect, from naming convention, his father might be James, but there are no records in support of taking Samuel’s line any further. If anyone is interested, it is now documented at
    Discussion always welcome.

  60.  avatar

    Alisan – We will be related through VENESS. You may wish to check my recent research on http://creativegraces,.net/genindex/veness.html. Your GM is my 2C3R through our common ancestor Samuel. Best wishes, Mark

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    Robin – I have emailed you to exchange info, if you are still at the same address. I can be contacted via my website or my research blog [reveal tel]


  62.  avatar

    Wow! Very detailed and informative! Thanks so much. My ggm is the d/o John Bacon. I have him as illegitimate, but with Benjamin Richardson as the father. Your info seems to imply that he was from an earlier ‘liaison’. Is that correct?

  63.  avatar

    Apparently, John Bacon Veness and Amelia (and family) appear in the 1881 Census as ‘Smith’, in Deritend, Aston.

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    Impossible to tell for sure, unless the father acknowledges paternity at time of baptism, which is rare. Even if he does, the birth registry will ignore a non-married father if the mother registers the birth. Requires the co-operation of “more enlightened” clergy or registrar to record the father when illegitimate, and is very rare in my experience. The mother often knows who the father is, but you are then reliant on word of mouth passed down through families. IMHO, the time gap between the 1848 baptism and the 1860 marriage to RICHARDSON is probably too long to associate him as the father of your John. John may not have known himself, as there is no census info to support him ever living with his mother (that I can find). The middle name of Bacon could indicate the surname of his biological father, but Ben RICHARDSON is not fully document either, as is the real reason Elizabeth left him for John PARTRIDGE so quickly after they were married. Like her sisters, Ann & Sarah, Elizabeth is not found on all earlier census records. Finding Elizabeth prior to her 1871 residency with John PARTRIDGE may explain a few things. Were the girls in SSX with relations and misrecorded or simply missed because they used aliases? It is all quite unusual in one small family. There is an explanation for missing women, but not likely to be appreciated by family, necessarily.

  65.  avatar

    Alisan – I have no suggestion of why the family of John VENESS were recorded as SMITH in 1881. Sloppy enumerator or a misheard surname is likely. By this time, he is a working man with a family, so no reason to provide false information. Family match is otherwise perfect. His identity may have been hidden in earlier census for a variety of reasons. I did mention on my research webpage that two of his children provided him as John William or William John upon their marriages. He doesn’t appear to have used Bacon from his marriage onwards.

  66.  avatar

    Mark – I have in my records Samuel/Sarah Stonestreet had 3 children Thomas (1781) Henry (1805) and Ann (1800). My data is mainly of the line that emigrated to Australia. There are many Samuels but none fit the evidence in your post. Cheers Dick Veness

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    Alisan – I have been considering this issue further and I may have an answer, although it risks blowing our minds.
    The 1851 census appears to show John SMITH (of LIN) and his first wife (Elizabeth, of Worcester) in Wolverhampton, STS, with 3-yo child John SMITH (c1848, Worcester) & Mary SMITH (8 months, Wolverhampton). The marriage to an Elizabeth ELISON/ELLISON in Worcester has been eliminated as this couple. Neither does it appear to be the John SMITH = Elizabeth DISLEY (d/o Richard) marriage in 1848 Wolverhampton (not yet proven with a connection to Worcester). I had pesumed John junior had died before 1861, as Elizabeth his mother (sometime after the 1852/53 birth of Charles H SMITH, above). It is possible, since Elizabeth VINESS is given as being born in Wolverhampton, John first met her mother Ann there. Elizabeth (1851) is registered or baptised, but he does give “daughter” as her official status on two census, when he could have used “step daughter”. As Elizabeth is living with her mother and stepfather in 1881, her declared age and place of birth could be considered the most accurate, however there are no baptisms or births for an Elizabeth V*N*S in Wolverhampton around that time, or anywhere. Between the possible death of John’s first wife, Elizabeth, from 1853, John started the relationship with my 3xGGM, Ann. As the John = Elizabeth relationship remains to be determined, then one possibility that cannot be ruled out entirely, due to the very complex relationships in this family, is that Elizabeth VENESS was the common-law wife of John SMITH first, had a few children by him, then left to marry Benjamin RICHARDSON, or was displaced/replaced by Ann, who had Elizabeth by him. The age and place of birth of John’s wife in 1851 does provide a match to Elizabeth of Worcester. The John SMITH, c1848, would then not have died, but would be John Bacon VENESS. It may also explain the 1891 “slip” back to using SMITH by John on that census. Crazy or what?

  68.  avatar

    Alisan – I forgot to add, in case you are trying to get to grips with my last post that it is also true, that on John Bacon VENESS’s marriage to Amelia he gave John, Stoker, as his father, which is exactly the occupation of John SMITH in 1851.

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    Alisan –
    The VENESS explorations have been an interesting exercise in perceptions. There was one important flaw in my recent analysis that, once recognised, has provided a much better data fit. Loose ends always raise suspicion and demand a revisit! No wonder with this family.

    The later census, including my 2xGGM Elizabeth BICKNELL nee VENESS, were taken in the household of John SMITH. Since Elizabeth married Daniel BICKNELL without a father’s name being given, it was natural to assume her illegitimacy. Once she appeared in a household, the next natural assumption was that the partner of John SMITH, Ann, was her mother. In fact, this is a red herring, if you accept John SMITH was not being “adoptive” in stating Elizabeth was his daughter (he could have said step-daughter, if Ann’s daughter), she really was his daughter, through his first common-law wife, Elizabeth VENESS of Worcester. Ann can be ignored as only John’s 2nd common-law wife, and in doing so allows all the other pieces to fit together. John’s first common-law wife, Elizabeth VENESS, had 4 children by him, then married Benjamin RICHARDSON, then settled with John PARTRIDGE, while John SMITH eventually settled with Ann (who was not Ann VENESS after all).

    For you, John Bacon VENESS, upon his marriage gave John as his father, occupation stoker, which is a perfect match for John SMITH, stoker. It was the incumbent who assumed VENESS as his father’s surname.

    The additional data that now fits includes John & Elizabeth in Wolverhampton in 1851 as SMITH, with her son John Bacon VENESS as John SMITH, matching his birth year and place, my 2xGGM’s birthplace c1852 and her younger brother Charles H SMITH c1853 (also resident with the BICKNELL family). It also explains why John slipped back to “SMITH” in the 1891 census.

    I have updated my VENESS research page once again, so previous posts can be ignored. In the end, the grandmother of William ROTHERO and Selina BICKNELL turn out to be one and the same.

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    Wow, Mark. Mind-blowing, indeed. But it sure does make sense. Kudos to you, detective!

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    A quick question, Mark. I use a mac-based programme someone wrote a number of years’ ago. I like to back up the gedcom regularly … just in case! It gives me 3 options: MacRoman, Ansel and UTF-8. Which is the best one to use (I do all three, being uncertain of how universal each one is). Thanks so much.

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    Sorry, Alisan – GEDCOM is not my area of expertise, however it wouldn’t hurt to back up under each of the options, providing a slightly different name so you know which is which.

    We now have histories for 3 of the 5 children of Elizabeth VENESS (1825). The c1850 daughter Mary Ann SMITH may be the Mary Ann WILLIAMS who witnessed her sisters marriage (my 2xGGM to Daniel BICKNELL in 1868). Charles H SMITH (c1853) had a son Charles H SMITH who may have gone to Colorado, USA. The trail on both is currently cold, although I am still investigating.

    We are probably moving off-topic for SSX VENESS, until we prove our common ancestor Samuel comes from there. We can discuss further offline if you can contact me through my webpage message form (to avoid putting email details out in a public forum).

  73.  avatar


    I think the common format used by most gen programmes is UTF-8. If you have to choose use this and I don’t think you will go wrong.



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    Mark / Alisian. I have changed my email address a few years ago.

    Re: Samuel Veness born 1784 – died 1849 of Worcester. There is no recorded of the whereabout Samuel Veness / Venice / Venes / Venis baptised in Sussex. I’m going to show you the entries of Samuel’s baptism within the range of 10 +/- years.
    1764 6 Jan Samuel son of Thomas & Elizabeth Venes at Brightling. He died infant 1764 11 March
    1775 27 Jan Samuel son of Isaac & Mary Venis at Guestling. He died at Wandsworth, London 1854.
    1775 9 July Samuel son of Samuel & Mary Venice of Ashburnham. He died 11 April 1851 at Buswash, Sussex aged 75 yrs
    177719 Jan Samuel son of Samuel & Elizabeth Venice at Ashburnham. He died 6 May 1757 at Dallington aged 81 yrs
    1794 5 Oct Samuel son of Samuel & Sarah (nee Stonestreet) of Battle. He emigrated to USA and died 9 Aug 1868 at Kalamazzo, Michigan aged 73 yrs.

    It’s the possible theory I have suspicious he could be born somewhere in Kent which I have not followed the tracked off the baptised at Broughton Monchelsea, Kent the son either parent of Thomas Venice who married Mary Arlott 2 Dec 1764 or Samuel Venice & Mary Owlett (m 23 Sept 1764).

    In regards Charles Henry Veness’s marriage to Mary Jane Lee at St Jude, Birmingham 24 Sept 1871. The marriage recorded show the name of father – Betsey, Tailor. It’s must be given the incorrect name of the father.

    I agreed with Mark to find the puzzle of John Bacon Veness the son of Elizabeth who was baptised 13 Aug 1848 at St Peter the Great, Worcester. What I have noticed the name has changed which happened in census return of 1881. Also, the baptised recorded of his children looks vague, in fact he has large family of 14 children. He was not closed related to Richard Veness of Worcester, but it’s a distantly related.

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    Thanks for sharing the fruit of your hard work, Robin. It is like a maze!

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    Hello Robin – My apologies for the late reply and acknowledgement as I was engaged elsewhere. Your message is most appreciated.

    I have, just today, concluded discussions with a direct descendant of Samuel VENESS & Sarah STONESTREET, which conclusively eliminates the late baptism, as you have already indicated. All their 10 children were baptised sequentially.

    I will follow up the Kent connection. I was having doubts about SSX too due to the lack of records and that most VENESS families I could find in Brightling and surrounding areas were ag labs. I had hoped that being a silk dyer would possibly indicate a father’s trade. Plus, it is not clear why he named his eldest son James, and then his second son Samuel. I had visions of his father being James VENESS, silk dyer somewhere.

    The name at Charles Henry’s marriage is fortuitous as his mother was Betsy (Elizabeth)and she was working as a tailor at the time, even though she was going by the name of Elizabeth PARTRIDGE, the mistress of John. The only time I have seen a mother inserted rather than the father. A curiosity if the incumbent decided he should add the mother where no father was declared.

    I am hoping my atDNA in due course will indicate whether there is any genetic link to John Bacon VENESS’s reported father of John SMITH of Lincolnshire, who is the father of my Elizabeth VENESS, his sister. When John married (as VENESS, having lived his life from after baptism as SMITH), the incumbent assumed his father was VENESS, but had the name and profession of John SMITH correct.

    Some of his children’s records are confusing that has now been sorted out. He had a couple prior to marriage and on one census he returned to SMITH and on another he was recorded with the surname of the family his eldest daughter married into. Some of the children did vary the names, and having a John William and William John who also reversed their names doesn’t help!

    I have very much appreciated the interaction and feedback on this forum.

  77.  avatar

    Should have mentioned that Betsy VENESS recorded on the marriage record of her son is a female as the occupation is clearly “tailoress”. If anyone is interested in the record, I have a copy.

  78.  avatar

    Hello Ann,

    I also have not been able to trace Nicholas back any further.

    I’m wondering who you have after Isaac/Mary Olley though?

    I have the same start, and after Issac (Venice)/Mary Olley I have:

    Isaac Venis 1698-1775 m Mary Pelham
    Henry Venis 1736-1814 m Judith Lavender
    James Venis 1806-1884 m Mary Cloake
    James Venis 1837-1888 m Sarah Ann Bumstead
    Edward Venis 1861-1916 m Eliza Woodrow
    Charles Venis 1902-1981 m Mary Ann Elizabeth Stroud – my grandparents

  79.  avatar

    Hello Stuart,

    I feel very cheeky jumping in to an old thread, but am wondering if you have or can help me with any info on the early Venis/Venice family back to Nicholas 1560.
    I have a list of my direct ancestors from my father along the male line to Nicholas, but would love to know any details of their lives/what they did/what life was like for them – and I have no info on siblings.
    Any help appreciated – I have not had time to look in library or church archives as yet.

  80.  avatar

    Carole, you are more than welcome to jump in on an old thread. Don’t know how much I can help you but am will ing to try. At the moment I am in and out of hospital so may be some gaps in my replies. My wife is a Veness and goes back to Nicholas Venis, father of James Venis (1594). I don’t have a Nicholas (1560) but sounds like maybe a brother to James. I have none of James siblings. Please email me at [reveal email] and I will give you access to a book I wrote some years ago on the Veness Family History as well as the names I have and another contact that may be able to help. Regards, Stuart.

  81.  avatar

    Hi Stuart,

    I too am sorry for butting into an ongoing conversation, but I am also stuck on Nicholas De Venoix (1562) married to Jane Wade and father of James (1594-1689)
    and their other children – William, Alice, John, Charles, Ann and Thomas.
    Any further information you can give would be appreciated. Best Regards, Rob

  82.  avatar


    My family line branches from Issac(1698) and Mary. They had two children Isaac(1732) – my line and Henry (1736). Looking at your list my information on henry is incorrect. I would like to correct my data.

    This also opens another question as to where Issac and Sarah fit into the tree.
    In your later post Nicholas (1560) is most likely Nicholas(1562) he had two brothers – notes>

    Born in France, arrived in Brightling, East Sussex c1580’s

    Venoix near Caen was a large Hugonauts province prior to the religion persecutions. Nicholas and his two brothers left Normandy in the late 1570’s to escape the uprising of the Hugonants in France. They arrived in Rye Harbour by rowing boat. Robert and Thomas went to Wisborough Green and Kirdford, West Sussex and Nicholas settled in Brightling, East Sussex.

    Would appreciate details for Henry and his decedents – I can provide a copy of the data that I have put together over the years. email.
    [reveal email]


  83.  avatar

    Hi Rob,

    No need to apologise. All contacts and info welcome. In fact your note intrigues me as it mentions a wife for Nicholas and more children than I had before. Because of these contacts, I received other info but realised there are some anomalies in it; so being able to check it against what you have may help us all. However, I feel more comfortable with direct email, so could you contact me at [reveal email] so we can compare information. Once co-related we can then post it up here.
    Thanks, Stuart

  84.  avatar

    Sounds potentially exciting!

  85.  avatar

    Hello Richard,

    Just to say I have tried emailing you but my email has been rejected as spam by your email server!

    Perhaps if you try emailing me first my email might get through Ok?
    It’s [reveal email]



  86.  avatar

    Hi, I just found your message from a few years ago from Jenny Quinn. I am also a Veness decendant. My great grandfather was Solomon Huband Veness and he was a brother to Isaac Edward Veness. Their dad and mum were Frederick and Ann Veness. They were all born in Randwick in Lingard Street (the family home). My dad, Frank Keith Veness and his 4 brothers and 2 sisters were also born at that address. Would love to hear more. Regards, Tricia Genders (nee Veness). I live on the Gold Coast so it’s not too far away from Brisband. Hope to hear from you.

  87.  avatar


    My father-in-law is the great grandson of Sophia Harriot Veniss who was born in Dallington in 1833, but later moved to Chailey where she married Harry Kemp Walls. Her parents were Joseph and Mary. Her father was born in Dallington in 1808. Your Veness stories are really interesting, and I think it’s likely that our Sophia might be descended from Nicholas, but I have a lot of work to do to prove this!

  88.  avatar

    Hallo Mark – I’ve just come back to this web site after many years. I’m intrigued by your comment that have been in discussions with a direct descendant of Samuel VENESS and Sarah STONESTREET as I am also a direct descendant them via their son Thomas VENESS and Mary STONEHAM.
    For the sake of clarity I’m Richard F. Veness

  89.  avatar

    Richard – Some interesting developments. My sibling’s DNA has provided a match between those who have tested atDNA with Ancestry and are connected to the Birmingham family in England and a descendant of John VENESS in Australia, who arrived in 1839; the son of Battle farmer Thomas VENESS and his wife Mary. Ancestry researchers have the wife’s name as Mary DAVIS, but I haven’t been able to confirm. Additionally, all have taken (perhaps they are the easiest to attribute)Thomas’ parents as the Said Samuel & Sarah. If true, it means our Samuel in England could at best be a son of a brother of Samuel senior. We remain frustrated by a clear baptismal record to pull this together, but the DNA is nevertheless intriguing. If any Australian VENESS descendants have tested atDNA (with any company) please let me know and share the data on GEDmatch. The match currently appears to be on chromosome 5.

  90.  avatar

    To close this particular thread the paper trail and genetics now provide a match to the BACON family of Lincolnshire to the Birmingham VENESS family, so the origins of the John SMITH, John Bacon SMITH genes are proven. I have posted in reply to Richard that we have an intriguing lead for the genetics of Samuel VENESS which is the current focus of investigations.

  91.  avatar

    I am an Australian direct decendant of John and Ann Veness who arrived in Australia in 1839. Our records show John’s father as Thomas and his mother as Mary Davis. Thomas was born in 1775 and John in 1808. I know that John and Ann were married in St Marys Battle in 1834 but have information as to where they lived.

  92.  avatar

    Hello – now here’s what may be a weird coincidence. I volunteer at Battle Museum of Local History and we were discussing the ancient Roman ironworkings at Beauport Park, on the outskirts of Battle. Someone mentioned that nearby is an iron working company. The director turns out to be a Robert William Venness, so reading through all your posts, it could well be that he goes back to the Huguenots who fled from France in the mid 1500’s. The Huguenots were often skilled workers, often in the iron industry and may well have contributed to the building of blast furnaces which kick started the Weald cannon foundry businesses (and gun powder) in the area. Very interesting!

  93.  avatar

    How fascinating! Thanks for sharing this with us 😉 I am in Australia now, but my maternal great-grandmother was a Veness.

  94.  avatar

    I am from Camden Australia and are a descendant of John Veness and Ann Brett. I do have some information, including the original family bible if anyone is interested. You can email me on [reveal email]

  95.  avatar

    Hi Kellee,
    I have an interest in the Veness family but the Email address you gave doesn’t seem to work.
    Rob Venus
    [reveal email]

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