Show ContentsVavasor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Vavasor is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Vavasor family lived in Yorkshire. Their name, however, is a reference to Le Vavassour, Normandy.

"Wace, in describing the second charge of the Conqueror at Hastings, tells us it was led by the Duke himself, at the head of 'a great company, vavassors of Normandy, who to save their lord would have put their own bodies between him and the enemie's blows.' In the case of the baronial Vavasours we must, however, adopt the former signification, as they claimed to derive their name from Sir Mauger le Valvasour, door-keeper to William the Conqueror. He is not to be found in Domesday; but his grandson Sir William, who witnessed Matilda de Percy's charter of Salley Abbey, appears in the Liber Niger as a considerable land-owner in Yorkshire, and was seated at Hazelwood, near Tadcaster, still the home of his representatives." 1

Early Origins of the Vavasor family

The surname Vavasor was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat anciently, after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They were originally from Le Vavassour in Normandy. "Sir Mauler le Vavasour, the Norman, is mentioned in Domesday Book, as holding in chief of the Percys, Earls of Northumberland, considerable manors and estates in Stutton, Eselwood, Saxhall, &c." 2

The township of Spaldington in the East Riding of Yorkshire was an ancient home to the family. "Spaldington Hall, the seat of the ancient family of Vavasour, and a fine specimen of the Elizabethan style, was taken down in 1838." 3

The township of Willitoft, again in the East Riding of Yorkshire has another early listing for the family. "This place was formerly the residence of the Vavasour family; it is now the property of Colonel Wyndham, who is lord of the manor." 3

Early History of the Vavasor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vavasor research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1299, 1440, 1478, 1483, 1485, 1495, 1506 and 1826 are included under the topic Early Vavasor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vavasor 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 Vavasour, Vavasor, Vavazor and others.

Early Notables of the Vavasor family

Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vavasor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Vavasor migration to the United States +

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 Vavasor or a variant listed above:

Vavasor Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Vavasor, who settled in Virginia in 1699

Canada Vavasor migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Vavasor Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  1. 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
  2. Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0 on Facebook