I too am a descendant from Richard Nason of Maine and Stratford-upon-Avon. Here is my personal speculation about their continental European origins:
Although the Nason genealogy has been traced from Maine to England, the family origins most likely stem from the European continent. The strongest indications point to Venice, specifically the island of Murano, where the Nason family became famous for their glassware. Hand-blown glass has been a Venetian speciality since at least the 1200s, and Nason glass is among the finest. It is noted in passing that Michelangelo incorporated a lunette with the name "Naason" in his painting of the Sistine Chapel in Rome in 1508-12. One guess as to the connection is that a Nason ancestor left Venice in the fifteenth century for France or Holland, whence some of his descendents went to England. There also were Nasons in the Low Countries. The best known is the artist Pieter Nason, who was born in The Hague in 1612 and died about 1689, whose portraits and still-lifes can be found in museums today. This individual is a contemporary of Richard Nason, and therefore certainly not an ancestor, but the family connection may yet be found.
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