Recorded in the spellings of Valance, Vallance and Vallens, this unusual and interesting name was early in both England and Scotland, but is ultimately of French origins. It is locational from the town of Valence in the departement of Drome, or possibly from other places so named in Normandy. Introduced into England by the followers of Duke William of Normandy after the famous Conquest of England in 1066, the place name derived either from a Roman personal name Valens, a derivative of the verb "valere", meaning to be strong, healthy, or from Valencia, the city in Spain, which may have the same meaning, of a healthy place. In Scotland the surname was first recorded in 1174, in the person of Philip de Valoniis. He was one of the hostages for the observance by William the Lion of Scotland, of the Convention of Falaise. Andrew Valence was bailie of Edinburgh in 1392, and James Vallance of Postle, was overseer for the election of magistrates for Stranraer in 1689. Amongst the early church recordings of the surname in the city of London is the marriage of John Vallance and Ann King, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf, on February 5th 1718. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reiner de Valenc. This was dated 1158, in the Pipe Rolls of London, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. 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.
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