Vance / Family History
The family history of the ancient name Vance
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Vance is usually derived from the English word 'fenn' meaning a marsh or low-lying marshy area. In Scotland the name is often originally derived from the Norman name 'de Vaux', also rendered as Deveaux.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Vance
include Vann, Fann, Van, Vans, Fenns, Vanne, Vanns, Vanse and Venn. A very early reference to the name occurs in the 'Pipe Rolls' of Essex in the twelfth century, referring to a John del Fan.
Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired land by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. It was by the method of creating and updating these old reference books that they were able to maintain their authority and enforce laws.
A famous bearer of the name was Alfred Glenville Vance (1838-1888) who was known as 'the great Vance' and who was a renowned actor in the London music-halls. The name Vance in Ireland is usually of immigrant origin having been brought to the country by settlers from England and Scotland who arrived into the Province of Ulster during the seventeenth century.
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Vance