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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.

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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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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


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  • 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
  • Hilda Campbell Vaughan (1892-1985), Welsh poet, novelist and short story writer
  • Robert Vaughan (1795-1868), Welsh clergyman and historian
  • Sir Gerard Folliot Vaughan (1923-2003), British psychiatrist and politician
  • Dame Janet Vaughan DBE, FRS (1899-1993), British physiologist
  • David Vaughan (1944-2003), British psychedelic artist
  • Charles John Vaughan (1816-1897), English clergyman
  • Herbert Alfred Vaughan (1832-1903), English Roman Catholic prelate

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  • 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.
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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. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. 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 23 March 2014 at 17:09.

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