Vause family

One of our cousins on the Vause side of the family, Sandy Struckmeyer, asked if I could give her some of our information to have in her family tree, so I’ve been checking what we have and what we don’t have on that branch of the family, and seeing what research still needs to be done. From what I can see we have no living relatives with the surname Vause anywhere outside South Africa. All those with the surname Vause today are descendants of Richard and Matilda Vause who came to Natal in 1852, within a month of getting married in Bath, England. Our Vause family seems to have originated in Epworth in the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire, England. The earliest ancestors we have managed to trace are John Vause who married Ann Gilliot in in Epworth January 1701/1702. Epworth is quite famous as the town where the founders of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley, grew up.

John Vause and Ann Gilliot had five children, and two of them, Susanna and Alexander, died young. The eldest son, John Vause, died in his early 30s, and we don’t know if he married or had children, so all the descendants we know of are from the two remaining sons, Thomas and Richard. Thomas Vause (1704-1757) married Ann Crawshaw or Cranshaw and they had four daughters: Ann, who married George Collison or Collinson; Susanna who married John Brunyee or Brunyea; Sarah who may have married John Holdsworth; and Mary, born in 1749, about whom we have no further information. Richard Vause (1718-1751) married Elizabeth Hill in 1745, and they had three children, the youngest, Catherine, being born after her father’s death in 1751. Catherine married Thomas Coggan in Epworth. John, the eldest, was our ancestor, and married Elizabeth Brooks.

So all our relations from those early generations of Vauses will have descended from Collisons, Brunyees, Holdsworths, Coggans and other families, and it is only the South African branch of the family that have members with the surname Vause. When we first started our family history research, beck in 1974, I was not aware of this, and fossicked around in libraries looking for phone books for Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire and Humberside, and writing to people with the surname Vause to ask if they were related, and now, nearly 38 years later, I realise that they weren’t, unless, of course, they were connected with earlier generations, because we don’t know who were the parents of the John Vause who married Ann Gilliot, and there were other Vause families in the Isle of Axholme. And then, of course, there are the Wyatt, Brooks, Hill and Gilliot families, who all married into different generations of the Vause family, and about whom we know very little. We do know, however, that after the death of her first husband, Richard Vause, Elizabeth Hill married Francis Whitehead, and we have been in contact with cousins in that branch of the family, who have given us information about several generations of descendants.

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