The English surname Vass is a nickname denoting a friend or a companion, from the Middle English, or Old French term vass, from Late Latin vassus, meaning “friend.” The name may also be locational, of Norman French origin, and deriving from "Vaux," a name of various places in Northern France. The translation is "the place in the valley". The name was brought to England by the Normans in the 11th Century. Johannes de Vaus was one of the hostages for the ransom of the king of Scotland in 1174, as recorded in "Annals of the reigns of Malcolm and William, Kings of Scotland". Robert Vass, aged nineteen, embarked from London for the New England colony of Virginia, aboard the ship "Safety" in August 1635.
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