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Vans Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: BE FAITHFUL

Allow me to unveil the captivating narrative of your family, the Vans, a name that carries echoes of Norman heritage, stemming from ‘vaux’ or ‘vaus,’ signifying ‘valleys’ or ‘dales.’ Your family’s lineage traces back to the esteemed Vaus family, believed to have journeyed to England alongside William the Conqueror in 1066. Although the specifics of their lineage from their Norman ancestors remain shrouded in mystery, the Vaus family eventually secured the barony of Dirleton in East Lothian. This legacy culminated in the construction of the imposing Dirleton Castle in 1240, a magnificent fortress that graces the village even today.

The Vans of Barnbarroch, a cadet branch of the Dirleton family, carved their own destiny. Around 1384, Johannes de Vallibus or Vaus, likely a son or nephew of Willielmus de Vaux of Dirleton, settled in Galloway. Here, he married into an influential family and claimed the lands of Barnbarroch in modern-day Wigtownshire.

The annals of your family are adorned with luminaries, none more prominent than Sir Patrick Vaus. He held the esteemed position of almoner and personal attendant to Mary Queen of Scots, and earlier, he served as a Privy Councillor to her father, James V. During the reign of Mary’s son, James VI, Sir Patrick’s diplomatic prowess shone as he acted as Ambassador to Denmark, facilitating the king’s union with Princess Anna of Denmark in 1589.

Afterward, the family’s fortune encountered fluctuations until the pivotal union of John Vans and Margaret Agnew in 1747. This union marked the integration of the Agnew lineage of Sheuchan into your family’s heritage. For generations, your family bore the surname Vans Agnew until your present Laird’s father, Patrick Alexander Vans of Barnbarroch, restored the original name, Vans, in 1965.

In the late 18th century, the family was graced by the presence of the enigmatic polymath, John Vans Agnew. He delved into diverse fields, authoring treatises on perpetual motion and composing a captivating family history. This history intertwined tales of descent from the Lords of Baux in Provence and the Kings of the Visigoths. While these claims remain unsubstantiated, they attest to your family’s captivating allure.

Amid the twists of history, Colonel John Vans Agnew stood as a formidable figure. He commanded the Scottish Horse Yeomanry during World War I and narrowly escaped a fire that razed Barnbarroch House in 1941. Today, your legacy perseveres through Jamie Vans of Barnbarroch, a beacon of the family’s enduring spirit and resilience. The tapestry of your family’s history is woven with courage, diplomacy, and a legacy that continues to inspire and uplift.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: BE FAITHFUL

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