What is the origin of the last name Vance?

The last name Vance originates from the English and Scottish patronymic surname "Vaus" or "Vausse," derived from the Old French word "val" meaning "valley." This surname denoted someone who lived in or near a valley. Over time, the spelling evolved and variations such as "Vance" emerged. The surname is prominent in the Scottish Lowlands, and several notable individuals bearing this name have made significant contributions in various fields throughout history.

Countries of origin for the last name Vance

Vance is a surname that can be traced back to its origins in the British Isles. It is primarily a Scottish and Irish surname, and is derived from the Gaelic word “vanais,” which means “banished” or “exiled.” The name is believed to have originated as a nickname for someone with a noticeably pale complexion or someone who had been banished from their homeland.

The surname Vance is also commonly found in England. In this instance, it is derived from the Old English word “fenn,” which means “marsh” or “bog.” This suggests that the name may have originally been used to describe someone who lived near a marsh or boggy area.

Vance is a relatively rare surname in the United States, with a small concentration in states such as North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It is believed that the name was brought to America by Scottish and Irish immigrants during periods of mass migration in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As with many surnames, the meaning and spelling of Vance may have varied over time due to factors such as regional accents, illiteracy, and the influence of immigration officials. Variations of the surname include Vans, Vanse, Vanns, and Vanc.

While the etymology and origins of the surname Vance can be explored, it is important to acknowledge that surnames themselves only provide a limited glimpse into a person’s ancestral history. They do not encompass the entirety of a person’s heritage or identity. However, they can offer intriguing insights into the migration patterns and historical context of a particular family name.

Interesting facts about the last name Vance

  • The surname Vance is of Irish and Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic name “Mac an Bháird,” meaning “son of the bard” or “son of the poet.”
  • The name Vance is often found in the highlands and lowlands of Scotland, as well as in Northern Ireland.
  • The spelling variations of Vance include Vans, Vanse, Vanns, Vause, and Vanze.
  • The surname Vance has ancient roots, dating back to at least the 13th century.
  • In Scotland, the Vance clan was associated with the region of Loch Tay in Perthshire.
  • Some notable individuals with the surname Vance include:
    • Cyrus Vance, the 57th United States Secretary of State.
    • John Holbrook Vance, the renowned American author known for his science fiction and fantasy novels.
    • Zebulon Baird Vance, a prominent American politician who served as the 37th and 43rd Governor of North Carolina.
  • The Vance name has spread throughout the English-speaking world, particularly in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
  • The Vance surname is associated with qualities such as creativity, intelligence, and a love for literature.
  • Several variations of the Vance surname exist in other languages, such as Vanca in Italian and Váňa in Czech.

Name Rank


There are around 47324 people with the last name Vance in the US

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