Wass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Wass family

The surname Wass was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat. The name, taking many forms, predominated in Cornwall before the Conquest, dating back to 1000 A,D, as Wasso, Wasce, Wazo, Gazo, Gasche, (all pronounced approximately the same) and in the next two centuries they proliferated along the south coast of England into Somerset, Hampshire, Essex, Cambridge and as far north as Lincolnshire.

Wace ( fl. 1170), the famous chronicler, was born in Jersey, probably about 1100. His parents' names are unknown; his mother was a daughter of Toustein, Chamberlain to Robert I, Duke of Normandy. He is best known for his poem 'Roman de Rou,' a work, as reconstituted by modern French criticism. [1]

At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, a census taken by Duke William of all his taxable estates, the name was represented by Robertus filius Wazonis, a Latin version of the surname. The spelling of Gace is pronounced Wace, just as Guilliam is William.

Early History of the Wass family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wass research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1627, 1690, 1691, 1757, 1750, 1672, 1738, 1691, 1694, 1695 and are included under the topic Early Wass History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wass Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Wace, Waison, Wayson, Wasson, Wash, Waze, Waize, Waice, Gaish, Gash, Gason, Gasson, Gaze, Ways, Wasso, Waso, Gace, Gaco, Wass and many more.

Early Notables of the Wass family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Christopher Wase (1627-1690), an English scholar, author, translator, and educator, Architypographus of Oxford University Press. William Wasey (1691-1757), was an English physician, the son of William Wasey, an attorney, who resided at Brunstead in Norfolk. He...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wass Ranking

In the United States, the name Wass is the 14,151st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Wass family to Ireland

Some of the Wass family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Wass migration to the United States +

An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Wass:

Wass Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Wass, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1691 [3]
Wass Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathias Wass, who arrived in America in 1730
  • George Wass, who settled in America in 1736
  • Leonhart Wass, who settled in Philadelphia in 1763
  • Leonhardt Wass, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763
  • Edmond Wass, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1772
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wass Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Wass, who arrived in Ohio sometime between 1809 and 1852
  • John Wass, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [3]
  • John Wass, who settled in Allegheny Co. Pennsylvania in 1849

Australia Wass migration to Australia +

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

Wass Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Wass, British convict who was convicted in Bristol, England for 28 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. Thomas Wass, British convict who was convicted in Bristol, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Frederick Wass, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]

New Zealand Wass 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:

Wass Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Wass, (b. 1849), aged 25, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Wass (post 1700) +

  • Paul Wass (1925-2020), American politician, Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1977-1990)
  • Chip Wass (b. 1965), American illustrator, designer, and animator
  • Julian Wass (b. 1981), American film composer, producer and electronic musician, son of Ted Wass
  • Theodore "Ted" Wass (b. 1952), American television director and former actor
  • Dewey S. Wass, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State Senate 3rd District, 1940 [7]
  • George Wass (1882-1966), English cricketer
  • Horace Wass (1903-1969), English footballer and first class cricketer for Derbyshire in 1929
  • Thomas George "Tom" Wass (1873-1953), English cricketer, best known for his County Championship win in 1907
  • Edwin "Ted" Wass (1910-1955), English footballer who played from 1929 to 1939
  • Mr. Thomas Wass, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1508 to 1509
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1834 with 230 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1834
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html

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