This unusual and interesting name is of Norman (French) origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as below, also in the forms "de Vals", "de Valibus" (the Latinized form), and "de Wals". 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". Most early examples of the surname are found with the preposition "de", meaning "of Vaux", but there are some, such as Agnes le Vaus (1275, Worcestershire), and Nicol le Vans (1296, Sussex), which suggest that they derive from an uncomplimentary nickname for someone thought to be unreliable, "false", derived from the Middle English "faus", false, untrustworthy. In southern England, "v" was used instead of "f". The modern surname can be found as Vause, Vaus(s), Vaux, Vass and Waus(s). One Richard Vause was an early settler in America, arriving in Virginia in the "Jonathan" in May 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Vaux, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book, Essex, during the reign of King William 1, "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.
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