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Written by David Singmaster (email@example.com ). Links to relevant external websites are being added occasionally to this gazetteer but the BSHM has no control over the availability or contents of these links. Please inform the BSHM Webster (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk) of any broken links.
[When the gazetteer was edited for serial publication in the BSHM Newsletter, references were omitted since the bibliography was too substantial to be included. Publication on the web permits references to be included for material now being added to the website, but they are still absent from material originally prepared for the Newsletter - TM, August 2002]
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Valentia Island was the landing point for the Transatlantic Cables, starting with the attempts in 1852, until the successful cables of 1865-1866. The first message was sent on 11 Aug 1858, but that cable failed within a month. Shortly afterward, it was found easier to land them on the mainland at nearby points of Ballinskelligs and Waterville (1870). They were also landed at Ballycarbery and/or Cooncroum, on the mainland a bit north of Valentia, and then continued across the bay to Valentia [Hammond, p.149]. Service ended in 1966. There is a small museum near Knightstown, Valentia, and several of the buildings survive. The actual station near Waterville also survives.
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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Written by David Singmaster. Last updated on 28th February 2003 by TM (A.Mann@gre.ac.uk). Copyright © BSHM and David Singmaster 1998 - 2003. All rights reserved.
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