It is not possible to write a history of any family which covers over 1,000 years without errors and misunderstandings.  For that reason I have included as many collateral family lines as reasonable with the intent that we would then be able to get a clearer understanding of the Venables family and its history, realizing that if I have incorrectly linked generations, the story of Abraham’s family line would still have been told.  The ultimate goal was to find Abraham Venables our first immigrant to Virginia in 1679. I believe he has been found and his family correctly identified.

Abraham Venables was christened in 1654 at Hertford, Hertfordshire at All Saints Church.  His father was Abraham Venables but there is no record of his mother.

My sources are all available on the Internet either freely or by subscription, including parish church and history records.  These volumes were of significant help in preparing the first 500 years of history:

 Visitation of Cheshire in 1580

Sir Peter Leycester’s Pedigrees of Cheshire

George Ormerod’s The History of County Palatine and City of Chester

Some Venables of England and America…, by Henrietta Brady Brown

The English Venables records begin in Cheshire, with early branches in Staffordshire and London.  During the late 1500’s England experienced a population boom, and churches began recording births, deaths, and marriages, although it was often sporadic and haphazard.   Prior to this time, landless but law abiding individuals are virtually invisible to history.  It is mainly through land, court, or tax records that men and an occasionally women are documented.

The name Abraham is first documented in 1604 with the birth of Abraham to Raphe Venables in London who most certainly was from Cheshire.  Soon after this there are births of Abraham in Staffordshire and Hertfordshire.

Regarding parish registers of births, deaths, and marriages, I quote from the Internet Londonlives: Despite their apparently comprehensive coverage, it is important to note that parish registers suffered from a significant degree of under registration. Those who were not members of the Anglican Church, particularly dissenters, often did not register these events, especially marriages, with their Anglican clergyman. It is also important to note that there was often a delay between births and baptisms, and the births of infants who died before they were baptized were often not reported. Clandestine marriages, which took place outside the parish, were not recorded in parish registers, though the incidence of these fell dramatically following the passage of the 1694 Marriage Duty Act, which imposed heavy fines for non-registration of marriages (though with one center of clandestine marriages, Holy Trinity Minories, immediately adjacent to St Botolph Aldgate, this possibility should not be ignored). Finally not all deaths in a parish led to burials within the parish, since some bodies were returned by parish officers to the individual’s parish of settlement, or by families to a family vault in another parish.

          The levels of under registration varied from parish to parish and by type of event. It has been estimated that in late seventeenth-century London, birth under-registrations caused by religious dissent were about 17 per cent of all births, with a further unknown percentage of births missing due to infant mortality before baptism. In contrast, the under registration of marriages, particularly after 1694, and deaths, was considerably lower. While there is no reason to question the accuracy of the data provided, the fact an event was not recorded in a parish register does not mean it did not happen in the parish.



  1. Would very much like to find out who tis website belongs to and can I comunicate with them?? Please
    I have been looking for the verification of this info for some years now and am thriled that somneone has come up with the answers.
    I do not have a website or want the info for explotation but just to have this for my personal files. You will find my name throughout the Internet inquiring after this very information. So please contact me.

      1. Hi
        I have just found your website of the venables ancestry.

        Please can you help me find my line of the venables family tree

        My name is ann venables born 22/05/1956
        My father was harry James venables
        Who lived in camberwell London
        As far as I know we are all londoners
        So would be interested in finding out our origin
        Thank you

      2. Ann,
        I don’t do research beyond 1740… I would refer you to the wonderful records available online in Britain, most of which are free. Best of luck. Kathryn

  2. Hi I am Geoff Venables from Western Australia and direct ancestor of the Rev. Joseph Venables line from Oswestry Shropshire. A John Venables came to South Australia in 1849 on the Caroline. Intend to visit Shropshire later this year. Would appreciate some contact. Great site Thanks Geoff Venables

      1. Hello , my great grandfather it is said , was second generation Haitian . They lived in Camberwell London …I would also love to know more…how he came to England idea where to go for family history records of Haiti .

  3. Hello,
    I wonder if you know of a Sir James Venables who was hung drawn and quarters, his body hung on the gates of Worcester? Thank you.

  4. Hi – this is a very interesting site – thank you! I am a descendant of Mary Venables (b. 1697, Stevenage, Herts; d. 1766) and her husband William Titmus(s) (1697-1784 – also born in Stevenage). Their son John Titmus(s) (1747-1785) has caused me endless hours of confusion! It seems he married twice – and that he married his second wife, Sarah Banner, in Birmingham, Warwickshire in 1800.

    If this part of the tree is correct, then trees link the Venables line back to Cheshire, and the Barons and so on – and by following all branches with each new generation, this leads to royalty through the illegitimate son of Henry II – as I’m sure you know. If you haven’t got some of this information, I can let you share my tree.

    I’m hoping you might know something about Mary Venables that would alleviate my confusion. When she married, it seems she was 6 months pregnant – which, if her ancestry is as it seems, would – I’d have thought – be a little unusual for the someone of ‘noble’ origins/landed gentry. Perhaps not – but I suppose it may have led to a rift in the family -? Her son, John, and his second wife, Sarah, were both illiterate and so signed their names with a cross on the marriage certificate. Further down the line the Titmus family ends up in quite humble circumstances, so either the tree is wrong, or there’s a story somewhere around Mary Venables’ time!

    So do you know whether Mary Venables (parents John Venables 1675-1696 and Sarah Waller, 1675-?) are connected with the Venables of your tree, and whether/how they might connect with Cheshire -?

    Best wishes

    1. Sarah, I think this is what you are looking for.

      All Venables descend from the first Baron of Kinderton… and I have no reason to believe they married into the line of Henry II. This has never been brought up in any reference I have seen. The descendents of the younger sons were often left in very poor conditions, and illegitimacy was common even among those directly in the baronial line… as the men often sired many children, Note Sir Thomas Venables and his many illegitimate sons that were provided for by him.

      Regarding Sarah Waller: This is the line I am presently researching.


      Digswell is 12 miles from Hitchin. The manor of Digswell was held by John Sedley and Nicholas Hyde, and both halves came to Humphrey Shallcross in 1656. The Shallcross heirs held the manor until 1770. The Shallcross family originated at Shacklecross in Derbyshire, and resided from an early date in Cheshire.
      It would seem that Thomas was the son of Robert Venables who was born in 1585. In May, 1613 Thomas Vennables (sic) married Alice Casse at Digswell Parish.

      The records of Hertfordshire indicate that Thomas was a sidesman in the church. He, with the churchwarden and paster, certified that there were no recusants, persons who were Puritans, Catholic, or Quakers, in the parish. This was in 1617.

      Alice Venables was buried in December, 1647. Thomas Venables was buried in October, 1669. Thomas and Alice are recorded for the births of four sons at Digswell.

      Thomas Vennables was born December, 1614
      John Vennables was born May, 1617
      Abraham Venables was born May 3, 1619
      Joan Venables was born March 17, 1621
      William Venables was born October 1626

      The deaths of Joan Venables in 1670 and Ann Venables in 1681 were noted in Digswell.


      Abraham Venables, who was born in 1619, to Thomas and Alice Venables, was noted in Hertford at All Saints and Saint John for the birth of a son, John Venable in August, 1644. Abraham probably did not reside in Hertford. He may have lived in Hertingfordbury or Brickendon, or nearby. It was 10 years later before there is another record for Abraham in Hertford. At Stevenage in 1712 Abraham Venables a weaver was buried.


      John Venables was the son of Abraham of Hertford. He was born in Hertford in 1644. He married Elizabeth and they were noted for two sons, John and Abraham.

      Mary Venables was born January, 1665
      Maria Venables was born November, 1667
      John Venables was born February, 1669
      Sarah Venables was born Otober, 1672
      Abraham Venables was born February 15, 1674

      In October, 1699 Mary Venables, their daughter, married Joseph Bazill. There are no further records for John and Elizabeth.


      John Venables married Sarah Waller February, 1695
      Mary Venables was born December 1697
      John Venables was born December, 1699
      Sara Venables was born July, 1704
      Maria Venables was born September, 1706
      William Venables was born August, 1711 (No parentage noted)

      Also of this family was Waller Venables who resided in Stevenage and married Anne Plummer in 1727 at Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

      Did you family come to Virginia? If so I would love to know the particulars, as this is my line as well.
      Best of luck

      1. Hi Kathryn
        This is all incredibly helpful and illuminating. It seems my tree has some serious flaws which, thanks to you, I can rectify. My tree erroneously had the father of John Venables (Sarah Waller’s husband) as Thomas Venables. He was listed as the son of Peter Venables and Frances Cholmondeley (which in England today is pronounced ‘Chumley’!) – and it’s through her line that it links, ultimately, to William Longspee who was the recorded illegitimate son of Henry II of England (Plantagenet) and his mistress, after Eleanor of Aquitaine’s death), Ida de Tosny. But most – if not all – English ‘aristocratic’ lineages wind up linking in with royalty somewhere along the line – whether French, English or Scottish; usually through illegitimacy, hence they are ‘married out’ of royalty.

        Anyway, it seems I need to rework my tree to reflect the detail you have so kindly provided. None of my direct ancestors emigrated to Virginia. They are all, on this side of my family, very much rooted in the Midlands (Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire). I was born in Worcesteshire but grew up on the Welsh border in Shropshire. I now live in East Yorkshire. So no connections with Virginia, unfortunately – except that it’s my middle name!

        Mary Venables, daughter of John and Sarah Waller, married William Titmus (b 1697, Stevenage, Herts; married Apr 9 1732, Stevenage). Their son John Titmus married twice: firstly Mary Bachum/Beachan, who died in 1799 probably during or after childbirth. They had 6 children, the youngest of whom – William was born the year of his mother’s death. With six children, ranging in age from 15 down to infancy, John then married again on 17 Nov 1800, at St Martin’s in Birmingham. His new wife, Sarah Banner, was a lot younger (b. 1781, B’ham; d. 1826). They had six children, the first dying either at or shortly after birth. On eof their children is Robert Titmus (b. 1806/7). He married Esther Dyer, and they are my 5x great-grandparents. My tree at these levels is accurate, if any of it should be of interest.

        I presume you have Thomas Venables’ (1614) tree mapped back to the first Baron of Kinderton, then?

        Thanks again for all your help.
        Best wishes

  5. Sarah…. here is the Frances Cholmondeley line


    Peter Venables, son of Thomas and Anne, was the third and only surviving son and heir. He was 2 years old in 1607. In 1620 he was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn. Peter served as sheriff in 1643. He commissioned the collection of Cheshire Heraldry which included 520 shields of arms. Peter sat in the House of Commons intermittently between 1640 and 1669. He was a Royalist supporter of King Charles. He served in the Long Parliament and was disabled from sitting in 1644. In 1661 he was elected to the Cavalier Parliament and died in office in 1669 at the age of 64. Peter married Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Wilbraham of Woodhey. Upon her death he married Frances, sister of Robert Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley, earl of Leinster in Ireland. In October, 1647, Frances Venables, wife of Peter Venables was granted a fifth part of her husband’s estate.


    Thomas Venables, esquire, son and heir, died before his father. He married Grace, daughter of Sir John Fenwick of Wallington, of Northumberland, knight and baronet. She married secondly, Richard Sneyd, brother to Ralph Sneyd of Keele of Staffordshire. Thomas and Grace were the parents of: Peter Venables, 23rd Baron of Kinderton and several children who all died young; Mary Venables who married Thomas Pigot of Chetwynd, Shropshire, esquire, and was living in 1666. Their daughter Ann Pigot married Henry Vernon of Sudbury and died in 1713.


    Gilbert Venables was born at Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1629 and was buried at Middlewich in 1654.
    Robert Venables was born in 1631 married Elizabeth, widow of John Legh of Booths, daughter of Thomas Stanley of Alderley. He died after 1666.
    Peter Venables, born in 1632 died in 1663.
    Frances Venables, born in 1637 died that year.
    Anne Venables married Francis Fowler of Harnedge Grange, Shropshire. Francis assumed the name Leveson, and acceded to the estates of Sir Richard Leveson.

    1. This is extremely fascinating ! I have a Great Grandmother – Janice Venable and her father was John Venable and his father was Joseph Venable. Not sure if my line from there is correct after reading all of this. I do know that Joseph Venable was from Virginia . Can you please tell me the correct descendant from there? Thank you very much for all your work on this !

  6. Hi

    I’m most interested in the research you have done on the descendence of Gilbert de Venables. Directly involved in the Centre Cultural Gilbert de Venables (in Venables Frabnce) under direction of Patrick Lequette (mayor of Venables F-27940). How can we get in (private) touch with the author of this web site / blog ??

    /Robbert de GROOT

  7. Thank you so much for this site! I am trying to determine where William Venables who married Elizabeth Barratt (Barrett) and had daughters Frances and Joyce fits into the descendants of Gilbert de Venables. William and Elizabeth emigrated to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You mention them on Venables of Staffordshire but I can’t follow the line up to William 4th Baron.

    1. The Venables all descend from Gilbert… I am working on Staffordshire and Nantwich… just not finished with the revisions. Subscribe and you will get the update when it is posted.

  8. Does anyone know anything about the William Venables that went to Scotland or which Venable took the name to Scotland and then allegedly went by surname Hunter?

  9. hello I have been trying to research my Venables ancestry , and recently had the pleasure of a visit to the village of Venables in Normandy.

    My findings have relied on the databases on and the records produced by Lorna Cowan. However the last reasonable linkages
    stop around 1620 in Weston Turville in Buckinghamshire. I have contacted the local genealogy group and they have confirmed that a William Venables was buried there in 1683, but could not help in finding any earlier records. In your research have you found any records of any Venables linked to anywhere in Bucks circa 1500 -1620. It would be a triumph to connect my line all the way back to the Barons and ultimately back to Normandy however I do understand the lack of Parish records prior to 1600. However if you have any clues I would be very grateful . Albeit I might have to take a leap in faith to “confirm” any joins.
    Many thanks for the illuminating article .

    Jeff Venables

    1. You may want to investigate the descendants of George Venables and Margaret Chamberlayne. GEORGE VENABLES, GENTLEMAN, a younger brother, was the heir to his brother John Venables of Horton in Hartford and Agden in 1624. He married Margaret the daughter of Henry Chamberlayne of Steple Clayton in Buckinghamshire, esquire. George was a member of Lincoln’s Inn, London. The inventory of his estate was conducted in 1649. The records also note that George had illegitimate children.
      Good luck

    2. Thomas Venables, of Buckinghamshire, appears in the Register of the University of Oxford for 1616.
      Try this one as well.

  10. I am researching the Hunters of Hunterston, Scotland. Is there a relationship between Williemo (William) Venator, 1st Laird of Clan Hunter and one of the signers of Prince David’s Inquisition circ 1116, as William the hunter, and Gilbert de Venables. My research has shown that Venables, France, was the home of the chief huntsman for the Dukes of Normandy, circ 1000. Thank you.

    Bruce Hunter

    1. I have corresponded with probably one of the leading historians on Cheshire England and Gilbert de Venable (don’t want to mention the historian’s name here) did hold land under ” Gilbert le Venator.” There was another but more minor land holder “Ranulf le Venator” in Cheshire but there is no evidence establishing that he was related to Gilbert. Is it probable that William Venator was from Cheshire and went north to Scotland, yes. I also believe that there may have been an earlier Venator referred to as Norman Venator that went north before William and Willian may have been related to him.

    2. But I have found no definite genetic link to Gilbert de Venable lineage. But remember that those men under him went by Venable or Venator. Gilbert is supposedly a son of Eudo Earl of Blois and I have found no DNA link for me to that Venable line (If such can be done). I am R1b, U152, L2, L20, and there are still pockets of U152 in Cheshire and also Tongeren Belgium (Flanders).

  11. I am descended directly from Abraham Venable – Abraham Venable, Jr. – John Venable – William Venable – Charles C. Venable – Walter Lee Venable – Henry Virgil Venable – William Donald Venable (my father). John Venable migrated from Virginia to Georgia and his descendants ended up in western Georgia and eastern Alabama.

  12. Descended from Joshua Venable, Georgia, husband of Nancy Esmon, through their son Reese, and his daughter Elpha. Reese moved to Missouri. Does anyone know this line?

    1. Jonathan,
      I do not have a Joshua in my data base, however there are Venable families in Georgia. You should provide the time frames for these individuals, so others can see if perhaps they have a lead and other information such as counties, etc. This all is needed.

  13. I am a member of the Heritage Team in the parish church of Middlewich where the Venables of Kinderton worshipped. They had their own Chapel built within the church. We also have the Venables screens dated 1632 and 1633 that chart the marriages of the Venables family in Middlewich. I was also in the survey on the Screens to hopefully see them restored and returned into the main body of our church.

    1. John,
      Thank you for your comment. I am hoping to be able to visit Kinderton in 2023 as well as Chester and Manchester. My husband’s mother was a Venable, and I am decended from the Gee family of Stretford. I think it is so fascinating that Cheshire is the root of our family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s