Vair History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Vair was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Vair family lived in Essex, but the family can trace their roots much farther back. They were originally from Ver, near Bayeux, Normandy where it was from the local form of this place-name, de Ver. Their surname literally translates as from Ver. [1]

Early Origins of the Vair family

The surname Vair was first found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. In the Domesday Book, [2] Aubrey (Albericus) de Vere (died c. 1112) was a tenant-in-chief in England of William the Conqueror in 1086 and progenitor of the Earls of Oxford. He was one of the great landowners of England and held his castle from the King at Hedingham in Essex. He also held Kensington a suburb of London.

The first Earl of Oxford was Aubrey de Vere, (c. 1115-1194.) His son Robert de Vere (c. 1165-1221), 3rd Earl of Oxford was hereditary Master Chamberlain of England and was one of the guarantors of Magna Carta. This line of earls continued until Aubrey de Vere, 20th Earl of Oxford (1627-1703.) Lavenham, Suffolk, became the home of the family of the Earls of Oxford.

"The church was rebuilt in the reign of Henry VI., partly by the De Veres, earls of Oxford, who resided here, and partly by the family of Spring, wealthy clothiers. The entrance is by a porch, supposed to have been erected by John de Vere (1442-1513), the fourteenth earl of Oxford, and much enriched; over the arch is a finely-sculptured double niche, and on each side of the niche are three escutcheons, each bearing quartered coats of arms of the De Vere family." [3]

Early History of the Vair family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vair research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1212, 1385, 1338, 1400, 1385, 1417, 1408, 1462, 1462, 1499, 1526, 1482, 1540, 1516, 1562, 1550, 1604, 1593, 1625, 1575, 1632, 1627 and 1703 are included under the topic Early Vair History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vair Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Vair are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Vair include DeVere, DeVera, Dever, Devere, Vere, Ver, Vaire and many more.

Early Notables of the Vair family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who was made Marquess of Dublin in 1385 by King Richard II; Aubrey de Vere, 10th Earl of Oxford (c. 1338-1400); Richard de Vere, 11th Earl of Oxford (1385?-1417); John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford (1408-1462), he was convicted of high treason and beheaded on Tower Hill on 26 February 1462; John de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford (1499-1526), an English peer and landowner...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vair Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Vair family to Ireland

Some of the Vair 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.


Canada Vair migration to Canada +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Vair, or a variant listed above:

Vair Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Vair, who settled in Ontario in 1855
  • Thomas Vair, who arrived in Ontario in 1871
  • James Vair, who arrived in Ontario in 1871
  • George Vair, who settled in Ontario in 1871
  • Agnas Vair, who settled in Ontario in 1871

Australia Vair migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Vair Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Vair, aged 15, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Chatham" [4]
  • Helen Vair, aged 17, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Chatham" [4]


The Vair 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: Vero nihil verius
Motto Translation: Nothing truer than truth.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHATHAM 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/chatham1852.shtml.


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