Fois History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fois arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Fois family lived in Northampton. The name, however, derives from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Vassy, Normandy. One of the first records of the name was Robertus Invesiatus, Lascivus which appeared in the Domesday Book [1] in Essex [2]. Other records show the name was originally De Vesci, which was a baronial name, a branch of the De Burgh family. [3]

Eustace de Vescy or Vesci, Baron Vesci (1170?-1216), "son of William de Vesci and Burga de Stuteville, paid his relief on coming of age in 2 Richard I (1191-1192). He was with the king in Palestine in 1195. John de Vescy (d. 1289) was eldest son of William de Vescy (d. 1253), and elder brother of William de Vescy. In 1253, on the death of his father in Gascony, he succeeded to the family estates. These included the barony of Alnwick and a large property in Northumberland." [4]

Early Origins of the Fois family

The surname Fois was first found in Northampton where Robert de Vassy (Veci) and his brother Ivo were granted nineteen Lordships in that county and overlapping into Warwick, Lincoln, and Leicester, by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

"The 'Sires de Waacie,' spoken of by Wace at the battle of Hastings, were Robert, who in 1086 held a great barony in Northants, Warwick, Lincoln, and Leicester; and Ivo, who does not appear even as a mesne-lord in Domesday. Yet we hear nothing more either of Robert or his possessions, and the whole history of the family centres on Ivo, and Ivo's posterity." [5]

Ivo (John) won the hand of Alda, daughter of Gilbert, Lord of Alnwick in Northumberland and the family claim considerable prominence as the Lords of Vesey from which Lords Fitzgerald and Vesei claim descent.

Further to the south in Tamerton, Cornwall, "Vacye was for some time the seat of a family of this name; but it is at present the property and residence of George Call, Esq. The church of Tamerton contains several memorials for the family of Vacye." [6]

Early History of the Fois family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fois research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1313, 1500, 1589, 1661, 1462, 1554, 1470, 1674 and 1746 are included under the topic Early Fois History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fois Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Feasey, Feasy, Fessey, Fassey, Fessys, Fressis, Veasey, Vassey, Vassy, Vesci, Vezey, Vezay, Vesey, Vessey and many more.

Early Notables of the Fois family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fois Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fois family to Ireland

Some of the Fois family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fois family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Fois or a variant listed above were: Andrew Veasey settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876; William Veazie settled in Massachusetts in 1640; Nathaniel Feazey settled in Somers Islands in 1662.



The Fois 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: Sub hoc signo vinces
Motto Translation: Under this sign we shall conquer.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  6. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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