Vennor, Henry George (DNB00)
VENNOR, HENRY GEORGE (1840–1884), Canadian meteorologist, born at Montreal on 30 Dec. 1840, was the son of an English hardware merchant, a member of the firm of Budden & Vennor. He was educated at the high school of Montreal, and while still a schoolboy formed a collection of snakes and other Canadian reptiles, which received an honourable mention at a provincial exhibition. It is now at the McGill University. He graduated at the McGill University in 1860, taking a course of zoology, geology, and mineralogy under Sir William Dawson, studying engineering and going through a course of chemistry in Montreal Medical College. After leaving the university in 1860 he was employed for five years in the mercantile firm of Frothingham & Workman, devoting his leisure to studying the weather and to making a collection of the birds and fossils of Montreal Island. In 1865 he became temporary assistant to Sir William Edmond Logan [q. v.], who was engaged in a geological survey of Canada, and with him he spent a season in examining Manatoulin Island in Lake Huron. He also made on his own account a collection of the birds frequenting the shores of the lake, which he presented to Queen's College, Kingston, and prepared a list of those that bred there. He was placed on the permanent staff of the geological survey in 1866. His special field in the survey was the Laurentian Mountains. His revised classification of the great Laurentian system of rocks added greatly to his reputation, and in 1870 he was elected a member of the Geological Society of London. In 1872 he directed attention to the phosphate resources of the county of Ottawa, where mines have since been worked at a large profit. His field of investigation was changed in 1875 to the other side of the Ottawa in the country drained by the rivers Lièvre, Rouge, and Gatineau, which he traced to their sources.
Vennor devoted much time to the study of meteorology, and in 1877 commenced to publish the ‘Vennor Almanac.’ He at once commanded attention by accurately predicting the character of the succeeding winter, and his almanac is said to have attained a larger circulation than any previous publication of the character in the world. For many years he made an especial study of the character and course of storms, and was able to deduce definite theories on the subject. About 1882 he supplemented his almanac by the ‘Monthly Bulletin.’ In 1881 he resigned his post on the survey, and established a mining agency at Montreal.
He died unmarried at Montreal on 8 June 1884. After his death his ‘Almanac’ was continued by Walter Smith.
He was the author of ‘Our Birds of Prey; or the Eagles, Hawks, and Owls of Canada’ (Montreal, 1876, 4to), a work of great value, the result of wide reading and personal observation. He also contributed to the ‘Canadian Naturalist’ and to the ‘British American Magazine,’ as well as to the Montreal ‘Witness.’[Morgan's Dominion Annual Register, Montreal, 1884; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography.]