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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Welsh Vaughan family come from? What is the Welsh Vaughan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Vaughan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Vaughan family history?

The surname Vaughan is derived from the Welsh words fychan, vychan, and bychan, which all mean small or little. The name was sometimes used to distinguish the younger of two bearers of the same personal name; and in other instances, it may have been a nickname, applied ironically, to a tall person.


Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. Clerks would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Vaughan name over the years has been spelled Vaughan, Vaughn and others.

First found in Shropshire, where they were descended from Tudor Trevor, the Earl of Hereford, and Lord of Maylors. His wife was descended from Howel Dda, King of South Wales, in 907. Descended was Gronwy, Earl of Hereford, through a series of Lords of Maylors and Oswestry. They descended to John Vaughan, son of Rhys Ap Llewellyn, of Plas Thomas in Shrewsbury.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vaughan research. Another 209 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1659, 1621, 1629, 1640, 1644, 1620, 1592, 1667, 1621, 1666, 1603, 1674, 1661, 1626, 1661, 1587, 1659, 1621, 1644, 1613, 1676, 1600, 1686, 1660, 1672, 1621, 1695, 1621, 1666, 1683, 1679, 1681, 1639, 1713, 1675, 1678 and are included under the topic Early Vaughan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 399 words(28 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vaughan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Vaughan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Vaughan:

Vaughan Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • George Vaughan settled in Maine in 1629
  • Patrick Vaughan settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Rowland Vaughan settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Davie Vaughan, aged 18, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Jo Vaughan, aged 17, arrived in Virginia in 1635

Vaughan Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Heather Vaughan, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Ambrose Vaughan, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Mary Vaughan, who landed in Virginia in 1719
  • George Vaughan, who arrived in Maryland in 1740
  • Richard Vaughan, who arrived in America in 1760-1763

Vaughan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Francis W Vaughan, aged 16, landed in Georgia in 1812
  • James Vaughan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Y Vaughan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Lumon Vaughan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836
  • Henry Vaughan, aged 28, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1852


  • Stephen Ray "Stevie" Vaughan (1954-1990), American blues singer/musician
  • James Lawrence "Jimmie" Vaughan (b. 1951), American blues guitarist and singer
  • Sarah Lois "Sassy" Vaughan (1924-1990), award-winning American jazz singer
  • Brian K. Vaughan (b. 1976), American comic book and television writer, best known for the comic book series Y: The Last Man, Ex Ma China, Runaways, Pride of Baghdad, and Saga, nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Dramatic Series in 2009
  • Robert Charles "Bob" Vaughan FRS (b. 1945), British mathematician, known for his work in the field of analytic number theory, fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2012
  • Thomas Wayland Vaughan (1870-1952), American geologist and oceanographer who worked with the United States Geological Survey
  • Charles Wesley "Pug" Vaughan (1911-1964), American football running back
  • Sarah Lois Vaughan (1924-1990), American jazz singer
  • Stephen Ray "Stevie" Vaughan (1954-1990), American six-time Grammy Award winning musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014
  • Jimmie Lawrence Vaughan (b. 1951), American blues rock guitarist and singer, older brother of Stevie Vaughan



  • John Vaughan Settled Newport, Rhode Island, 1638 by Herman Vaughan Griffin.
  • Vaughan Pioneers: William and Fereby Vaughan Of Russell County, Virginia by Lewis Elmo Vaughan.
  • Vauhgans in Wales & America by James E. Vaughan.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Non revertar inultus
Motto Translation: I will not return unrevenged.


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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  11. ...

The Vaughan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Vaughan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 September 2014 at 12:39.

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