Venn, Devon

While on a visit to Devon in 1997, I was surprised to see a village of Venn, a bit north-west of Kingsbridge. Contact with the local history society revealed that this is actually a topographic term meaning a stretch of low-lying land and the OED gives it as a variant of fen. The person I spoke to did not know of any local family named Venn. There are several locations in England with venn as part of the name, but the earliest ancestor of the Venn family cited in the [DNB] is a Richard Venn (1691-1740), son of Dennis Venn, vicar of Holbeton, and Holbeton is only 6 miles from Venn, so it is quite possible that our family derives from this village. (A John Venn from Somerset was one of the regicides in the mid sevententh century, but I don't know if he is related.)

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An extract from The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles created by David Singmaster

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