Vernon : Origins of the town name

Version Francaise :

Several historians have tried to explain the origin of the town's name.

From "History of the town and district of Vernon" By Theodore Michel. First edition - 1851.

According to us, it is in those days (around 911 under the reign of Roll) that we can go back to the foundations of Vernon, and the opinion that we give is confirmed by a manuscript dating back to the 15th century in which Roll is quoted as first lord of the town. (...) It therefore appears quite probable that adventurers passing through, found the site of Vernon to their liking, built dwellings which became the center of this small city. This, in fact, being analogical whith an ancient local chronical today nearly forgotten, which says that, one day "in the times where woodlands covered the grounds occupied by this town, a troup of strangers charmed by the freshness and beauty of the site, decided to stay and because they could see nothing all around but trees and greenery decided to name their new country VERNON." 

There is a second tradition, which is better known : "In the ancient days, Vernon was called "Poirée" (Perry). A traveller passing through, asked the inhabitants, the name of the town. After having been told, he exclaimed : "Ah, that is a Green Name (Vert being Green and Nom being Name).

From "History of Vernon-sur-Seine... Giverny and Vicinity" by Michel de Decker,
a more scientifical explanation

According to Francois de  Beaurepaire (Names of towns of the County of Eure, Editor Picard) it is undeniable that in the name of Vernon, can be identified the pre-latin theme "Vern" which we can find isolated in Vern-surSeiche (in the County of Ille et Vilaine), Ver-les-Chartres (County of Eure-et-Loir), Ver-sur-Launette (County of Oise), Ver-sur-Mer (County of Calvados), etc.

Whereas, Dauzat-Rostaing (dictionnary of names and places of France), believe that it can't be excluded that the Gallic term of "Verno" to designate the Alder tree, is at the origin for naming the town. It is possible indeed, that the banks of the river Seine, in the times of our ancestors, flourishing in Alder trees left their name to our site.

(continuation of the list of towns also called Vernon in France)   

(...) But there are also Vernon in England, Canada, the United States and even in New Zealand ! This is quite a story :

There was once, Richard de Reviers, a good and loyal officer serving the Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard, future William the Conqueror. He was such a good and loyal officeer, that he was given in reward, the little town of Vernon-sur-Seine. This was in 1050.
From then on, Richard de Reviers and all his descendants to come, took the name of their town for their name. The VERNON family was born.
Sixteen years later, that is to say in 1066, William, as his nickname shows, sails to conquer England. His victory is at the battle of Hastings. Richard of Vernon, ever faithful knight to William plays a part in this success. Victorious, he lands in England and is overwhelmed ! The Vernons' are even more charmed because it must be said that they receive many seignoral estates. They settle and have descendants. The English branches of the Vernons' from then on increase and have ramifications in far away countries, as we have seen (the famous Mount Vernon of Georges Washington for example).

See also :
Famous Vernons'

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Monday, 30-Aug-2004 17:56:40 EDT