This unusual and interesting surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname is locational in origin, from any of the various places in northern France called Vaux. The placename derives from the Old French plural form of "val", valley, which is "vaux", from the Latin "vallis". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Most early examples of the surname are found with the preposition "de", meaning of Vaux (Ralph de Vous, 1185, Yorkshire), but there are some, such as Agnes le Vaus (1275, Worcestershire), and Nicol le Vaus (1296, Sussex), which suggest that they derive from an uncomplimentary nickname for someone thought to be unreliable, derived from the Middle English "faus", false, untrustworthy. In southern England "v" was sometimes used instead of "f". The surname can also be found as Vause, Vaus(s), Vaux, Vass and Waus(s). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Triphana, daughter of Thomas Vause, on March 20th 1569, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London, and the christening of William, son of John and Susanah Vose, on November 17th 1668, at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Vaux, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Essex, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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