Ap History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Ap is derived from the Middle English words "fein," "fayn," or " fane," which all mean "glad." The name was a nickname for a happy or good-natured person. The name could also have been a local name derived from the expression "at the van" or in other words near the "threshing-floor" derived from the word "van" which was a threshing instrument.
Early Origins of the Ap family
The surname Ap was first found in Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy), where the ancestors of the earls of Westmorland, "wrote their name Vane, and descended from Howel ap Vane, living there before the time of William the Conqueror"  living about the year 1060.
Another reference states: "The Fanes or Vanes are said to have originated from Wales; in the reign of Henry VI, they were seated at Hilden in Tunbridge, in Kent, by marriage with the Peshalls." 
Early History of the Ap family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ap research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1625, 1626, 1580, 1629, 1602, 1666, 1639, 1681, 1589, 1655, 1613, 1662, 1653, 1723, 1616, 1663, 1689, 1715, 1715, 1645, 1693, 1682, 1734, 1708, 1710, 1727, 1734, 1734, 1680, 1721 and 1721 are included under the topic Early Ap History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ap Spelling Variations
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 Ap name over the years has been spelled Fane, Ap Fane, Fain, Vane, Vain, Veynes, Vanes and others.
Early Notables of the Ap family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Francis Fane (1580-1629), 1st Earl of Westmorland (second creation); Mildmay Fane, 2nd Earl of Westmorland (1602-1666), an English nobleman, politician, and writer; Lady Mary Fane (1639-1681) was the daughter of Mildmay Fane, 2nd Earl of Westmorland; Sir Henry Vane the Elder (1589-1655), English courtier, father of Henry Vane the Younger; Sir Henry Vane the Younger (1613-1662), statesman, Puritan, son of Henry Vane the Elder; and his son, Christopher Vane, 1st Baron Barnard (1653-1723), an English peer; George Fane (c. 1616-1663) was an English politician who fought for the...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ap Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ap family to Ireland
Some of the Ap family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ap migration to the United States +
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 Ap:
Ap Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Thomas Richard Ap, who landed in Maryland in 1663 
Contemporary Notables of the name Ap (post 1700) +
- Dafydd ap Llywelyn (1215-1246), Prince of Gwynedd and first Prince of Wales
- Dafydd ap Gwilym (1315-1350), Welsh poet
- Dafydd ap Gruffydd (1238-1283), Prince of Wales
- Myrddin ap Dafydd (b. 1956), Welsh editor and prifardd from Llanrwst, Chief Bard, founder of the Gwasg Carreg Gwalch publishing company
Related Stories +
The Ap Motto +
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: Ne vile fano
Motto Translation: Bring nothing base to the template.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ 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)