The English surname Vanns, also found in Wales, is a topographic name for someone who lived by a fen or marsh. The name is first recorded in 1199 when John del Fan is recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Essex. In 1292 one, Richard atte Vanne appears in “The King's Rolls at Wiltshire,” and on February 9th 1590 Ursulay Vanns and Charles Savadge were married in St. Margaret's, Westminster. In Wales the family first held lands in Monmouthshire in southeast Wales. The first reference to the name in the New World is in 1666 when John Vann arrived in Virginia from Wales in search of a new life.
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