Venables Conventions

It all started in the 11th Century with the birth of a young lord, Gilbert de Venables, between 1030 and 1035, in the family of the Counts of Blois and Chartres. His uncle Roger, Bishop of Beauvais, who owned lands, gave the stronghold of Venables to him at the death of Mauger de Venables. But the young Gilbert probably spent little time there. Responding to the call of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, Gilbert and his neighbours, Hugh and William de La Mare, joined the army to conquer England in 1066.


For their good and faithful services, and in accordance with the promises of the Duke, they were awarded lands in the Earldom of Cheshire, under Hugh d'Avranches. Gilbert founded a family and his descendants became Barons of Kinderton, near Middlewich. Since then, the name of this family and village have resounded through history and spread throughout the world.


The story could have stopped there but for a far off descendant of Gilbert, Robert Venables who, nine centuries later, in 1972 came from England to visit Venables. He met Léon Drouet, mayor in those days and was introduced to Bernard Oger. In 1975 an American, Steve Venables, coming from California, also discovered the village with the help of J.M. Drouet. In 1983 his wife Lydia Venables spent a weekend in Venables to discover the village her husband Steve spoke so much about. In September 1985 they came back together to discover the Château Gaillard, the castle of Gaillon, Giverny, St. Michael's Mount.


Since 1991 the A.C.S.V. [Cultural and Sporting Association of Venables] and the Municipality, have organised, every five years, conventions to bring together Venables families from all over the world. Thanks to the conventions friendships between the Venables and the Venablois are being established and they represent very intense moments for the village.


At the convention of 2001, the Cultural Centre �Gilbert de Venables� was born [ is currently under development]. It will facilitate activities through which the Venables name will become well known.

These conventions are anticipated with much pleasure by the families who meet up on the land of Venables and are very proud to bear a surname such as Venables.


They are looking to collect evidence of their origin in Venables. The emotion is very strong when three generations of the same family set foot together on the land of their ancestor or vice versa when parents would have wished for the presence of their children to share this special time. Sometimes cousins meet up again after a long separation, or a son will deposit his father's ashes on the feudal mound. So, very strong friendships have been established between the Venables and Venablois for 20 years.