Van History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Van was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Van family lived in East Lothian, Scotland. Their name, however, is a reference to Vaux or Vallibus, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Van family

The surname Van was first found in East Lothian, where they were directly descended from the great baronial family of De Vaux, or De Vallibus, and still had a castle of this name in Normandy until the year 1080. They possessed Dalston and Gilliesland in Cumberland, and the barony of Dirletoun in East Lothian.

Early History of the Van family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Van research. Another 170 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1244, 1255, 1306, 1437, 1490, 1538, 1515, 1516 and are included under the topic Early Van History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Van Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Vance, Vans, Vaux, de Vallibus and others.

Early Notables of the Van family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Vaus or Vascus (1490?-1538?), Scottish Latinist, the earliest Scottish writer on grammar, born in Aberdeen. "He appears to have studied at Paris, and to have returned to his...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Van Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Van family to Ireland

Some of the Van family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Van migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Van Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Bernard Van, aged 17, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719 [1]
  • Hans Jacob Van, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1752 [1]
  • Mattheis Van, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1752 [1]
Van Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nainan Wynan Van, who landed in Mississippi in 1830 [1]

New Zealand Van migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

  • Henry Van, aged 46, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" between 1841 and 1850
Van Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Henry Van, aged 46, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1850

Contemporary Notables of the name Van (post 1700) +

  • Ya-Yue J. Van, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1996, 2000, 2004; Member of Democratic National Committee from Washington, 2004 [2]
  • Vernon Van, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 37th District, 2000, 2004 [2]
  • Paul van Winkel (b. 1953), Belgian wheelchair racer and multiple Paralympic gold medalist
  • Ashley van Winkel (b. 1996), South African lawn bronze medalist bowler at the 1996 World Outdoor Bowls Championship
  • Mr. Anthony Van Laast C.B.E., M.B.E. (b. 1951), born in Sussex, England, UK, English Choreographer for stage, concerts, television and film, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Dance and Choreography by Her Majesty The Queen [3]
  • Ann Van Elsen (b. 1979), Belgian model, television and radio personality, Miss Belgium (2002)
  • Oliver Van DeMille (b. 1968), American author, educator and public speaker from Hurricane, Utah
  • Rudi Van Dantzig (b. 1933), Dutch dancer, choreographer, and director with the National Ballet of the Netherlands
  • Theadora Van Runkle (1928-2011), born Dorothy Schweppe, an American costume designer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, member of the Schweppes beverage family
  • John Van Hanford III (b. 1954), American diplomat, U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom from 2002 to 2009 [4]

HMS Dorsetshire
  • David Isak Stephanus Zyl Van (d. 1945), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [5]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  3. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html


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