Vass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Vass reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Vass family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Vass family lived in Essex. The name, however, derives from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Vaux, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Vass family

The surname Vass was first found in Essex where Robert de Vals, de Valibus, de Vaux was first listed shortly after the Conquest. [2]

However, the name was scattered throughout early Britain due to their strong Norman ancestry. Aitard de Vaux held estates in Norfolk in 1086 as did Randulph de Vaux in Cumberland. [1]

In part, this was due to the origin of the name "Vaux," a fairly common French place name which is plural of the word "val" which means in English "valley." [2] The "V" and "F" prefix was interchangeable at this time.

Early History of the Vass family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vass research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1606, 1605, 1675 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Vass History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vass Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Faux, Fawkes, Fauks and others.

Early Notables of the Vass family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vass Ranking

In the United States, the name Vass is the 13,618th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]


United States Vass migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Vass name or one of its variants:

Vass Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Vass, aged 19, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
Vass Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Vass, who landed in Virginia in 1816 [4]

New Zealand Vass 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:

Vass Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Vass, aged 29, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Vass (post 1700) +

  • Arpad Alexander Vass (b. 1959), American research scientist and forensic anthropologist
  • Joseph D. Vass, American politician, Socialist Workers Candidate for Presidential Elector for California, 1972 [5]
  • Alfred E. Vass, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920, 1924 (alternate); Presidential Elector for New York, 1920 [5]
  • Patrik Vass (b. 1993), Hungarian footballer

HMS Royal Oak
  • Hugh Vass (1908-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]
  • Hugh Vass (1907-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]
  • David Vass (d. 1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]
  • Bertie Vass (d. 1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]


The Vass 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: A Deo et Rege
Motto Translation: From God and the king.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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