Show ContentsAvison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Avison surname is derived from the Middle English/Old French given name Avice of uncertain origins, but interestingly one source noted that it is from "the personal name Avice, Latinized Avitius, found before 1086. (Domesday Book)." [1]

Early Origins of the Avison family

The surname Avison was first found in Southeast England. There is a record of a person called "Auicia" in Parish records of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk in circa 1175-86; and another of this name in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1199. Ricardus filius Avice was on record in the Subsidy Rolls for Staffordshire in 1332. [2]

Early History of the Avison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Avison research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1524, 1674, 1709, 1770, 1736 and 1752 are included under the topic Early Avison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Avison Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Avis, Avison, Aviss and others.

Early Notables of the Avison family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Charles Avison (1709-1770) English, Baroque composer. When a young man he visited Italy for the purpose of study, and after his return to England, became a pupil of Geminiani. On July 12, 1736, he was appointed organist of the church of St. Nicholas, in his native town. In addition to his musical attainments, he was a scholar, and a...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Avison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Avison family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Avison or a variant listed above: George Avis, a servant sent from Bristol to Virginia in 1663; George Avis, who received a land patent in Virginia in 1664; William Avis, who settled in Boston in 1664.

Contemporary Notables of the name Avison (post 1700) +

  • Alfred Avison, American politician, First Selectman of Norwalk, Connecticut, 1908, 1910 [3]
  • Charles Avison (1710-1770), English composer, born at Newcastle, studied music in Italy, and on his return to England became a pupil of Geminiani; in 1736 he was appointed organist of St. Nicholas, at Newcastle, in which town he spent the remainder of his life [4]
  • John Henry Patrick Avison (1915-1983), Canadian conductor and pianist
  • Margaret Avison (b. 1918), Canadian poet

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from
  4. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019 on Facebook