Vinson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Vinson is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Vinson family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to St. Vincent-de-Cramenil, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Early Origins of the Vinson family

The surname Vinson was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat from early times at Swinford. They were originally from St. Vincent-de-Cramenil in Le Havre in Normandy. Today, Swinford is a village and civil parish in the Harborough district

"The family of Vincent descend from Miles Vincent, owner of the lands at Swinford in the county of Leicester, in the tenth of Edward II." [1]

Exploration of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 discovered: Roger Vincent in Berkshire; and Richard filius Vincent in Huntingdonshire. [2] Kirby's Quest listed Vincent atte More in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3] Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Vynsand. [2]

Early History of the Vinson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vinson research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1626, 1584, 1618, 1591, 1646, 1639, 1697, 1662, 1634, 1678, 1638, 1617 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Vinson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vinson 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 Vinson 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 Vinson include Vincent, Vinsant, Vinsen, Vincer and others.

Early Notables of the Vinson family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Augustine Vince (1584?-1626), English herald, born presumably at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, about 1584, the third and youngest son of William Vincent (d. 1618) and his wife Elizabeth. [4] John Vincent (1591-1646), was nominated by the committee of the Westminster Assembly to the rectory of Sedgefield, Durham; and his son, Nathaniel Vincent (1639?-1697), was an English nonconformist minister from Cornwall, ejected in 1662 and several times imprisoned. Thomas Vincent (1634-1678), was...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vinson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Vinson family to Ireland

Some of the Vinson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Vinson migration to the United States +

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 Vinson, or a variant listed above:

Vinson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Vinson, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Tho Vinson, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • William Vinson, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [5]
  • Phillip Vinson, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [5]
  • Phillip Vinson, who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Vinson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Vinson, who arrived in America in 1764 [5]
Vinson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Vinson, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

New Zealand Vinson 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:

Vinson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Sarah Vinson, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cartvale" in 1874
  • Miss Sarah Vinson, (b. 1855), aged 19, Cornish servant departing on 25th June 1874 aboard the ship "Cartvale" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 11th October 1874 [6]
  • Miss Annie Vinson, (b. 1859), aged 25, Cornish general servant departing on 29th March 1884 aboard the ship "Victory" going to Hawkes Bay, New Zealand arriving in port on 25th May 1884 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Vinson (post 1700) +

  • Carl Vinson (1883-1981), 40th Dean of the United States House of Representatives, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, eponym of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and Vinson Massif, Antarctica
  • Fred Vinson (b. 1977), former American NFL football cornerback who played from 1999 to 2004
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (1917-1988), American jump blues, jazz, bebop and R&B alto saxophonist
  • William A. Vinson, American lawyer and businessman, co-founder of Vinson & Elkins LLP, now an international law firm headquartered in Downtown Houston, Texas in 1917
  • Jackey Vinson (b. 1976), American actor, known for Breaking the Rules (1992), The Wizard (1989) and Grand (1990)
  • Helen Vinson (1907-1999), American film actress, known for her work in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), The Thin Man Goes Home (1945) and The Wedding Night (1935); she has a Star on the Walk of Fame
  • Clarence Adam Vinson (b. 1978), American bronze medalist boxer at the 2000 Summer Olympics
  • Gary Vinson (1936-1984), American television actor from the 1960s
  • Walter Vinson (1901-1975), American Memphis blues guitarist, singer and songwriter
  • Frederick Moore Vinson (1890-1953), American politician who served all three branches of government, member of the United States House of Representatives, Secretary of Treasury, and 13th Chief Justice of the United States
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Wayne Vinson (b. 1964), American Private 1st Class from Chesapeake, Virginia, USA who died in the crash [8]


The Vinson 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: Vincenti dabitur
Motto Translation: It shall be given to the conqueror.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Wellington 1872-1880 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nz_wellington.pdf    
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  8. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550


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