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de Vardon of Normandy




The de Vardon (Devardon) and 


Vardon families of Normandy  



The family of Harry Vardon the famous golfer




It is purely coincidental that this family share the same spelling of their surname as the Vardons of Cheshire. Quite how the name 'Vardon' evolved in Normandy separately from the way in which the Verdons (de Verduns) of Cheshire's did, no one yet knows.


Two Vardon brothers fled from Normandy to Jersey after King Louis XIV's revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October 1685. The Edict had been issued by protestant King Henry IV (Henry of Navarre), to protect and grant rights to the protestant - "Hugeunot" - minority. Their descendants remained in Jersey, but some relocated to England, where their most famous descendant was the famous golfer "Harry Vardon"


These Vardons from Jersey are the protestant branch of the de Vardon family (now Devardon) of Le Bas Vardon and Le Haut Vardon, below Cahan in Normandie, south west of the town of Pont D'Ouilly at the junction of the River Noireau and the Orne. Vardons still live in the area of Athis-de-l'Orne, including well known dairy farmer Jean Vardon of La Ferme de Treillebois, and the Devardons are still at Le Haut Vardon.


The Vardons of Les Tourailles, south east of Athis-de-l'Orne, details of whom are found in the Armorial des Tourailles, du Houlme et de ses environs en Basse-Normadie, Ancien fief des Turgot, written by Christophe Lallau, appear from their Huguenot connections to be the same family as the Vardons of Jersey. 


The Armorial des Tourailles also mentions the de Verduns of Normandy. What has not yet been ascertained is whether the de Vardon and de Verdun families of Normandie are one and the same, with the surname having changed from one to the other as it did in England. The first mention of the name Vardon in Normandy appears to be in the early 1600s, but further investigation is required as to any potential earlier mention, or origin from the Normandy family of de Verdun.


However, one clue of the connection can be found in the book 'The Norman people and their existing descendants in the British dominions and the United States of America, written by Henry S. King & Co., and published in 1874. In his book, King provides the following entry for the Vardon family:

VARDON. Durand Vardon, Normandy 1198 (MRS), armorially identified with Verdon. 

The 'MRS' referenced above is the 'Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae', or an extract from it that appears in what King refers to as the 'Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaries de la Normandie, t. 15-17'.




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