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Home: Surnames: Vassar Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Vassar Family genealogy
Posted by: John Robert Size Date: July 22, 2001 at 04:56:46
In Reply to: Vassar Family genealogy by W. Ted Vassar of 243

Dear Ted,
Below is what I have on my Vassar ancestors but parts do not agree with your Vassar genealogy so I think at this point if you wish contact me at and we will check our sources item by item.

But here is what I have for my Vassar family;
The name Vasser originated in the 13th century in the Kingdom of Lotharinga, now called Lorraine.
Vavassour is not a common name, but was frequent in the 12th and 13th centuries. it derives from
Vavassour (Latin Vassus Vassorum, "Vassal of Vassals")and was used of a Feudal tennant ranking
immediately below a Baron or Viscount.

In 1599 the Presbyterian Church was established in France. Henry of Navarre (Henry IV) was a
champion of the protestant cause and, in 1572, opposed Henri Guise, head of the Catholic League.
This resulted in the War of the Three Henrys and in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre on Aug.
24, 1572. Thousands of protestants were slain. The religious wars were resumed and the
persecution of protestants spread over France. "The industrious, talented refugees took up residence
in Holland, England, Brandenburg, and not the least, in America, where their influence is attested by
a sample roll call of Hugeunot names: Revere, Bowdoin, Fanenil, Delancy, Huger, Jay, Delano,
Manigault, Vasser, Galluder, Baynard." Many additional spellings of the name Vasser resulted from
this migration.

In England, Queen Elizabeth I befriended the Huguenot refugees, giving them financial help
throughout her reign. However, the Vassers of England observed the religious unrest in their new
environment. Among these were John Vasser and his wife Elizabeth. Born in England about 1595,
John Vasser was a descendent of a Huguenot who had fled the St. Bartholonew's Day Massacre.

No doubt because of the troubled times, John Vasser applied for a patent and permission to sail,
"beyond the seas."
He took the oath required and, in the old script, made his mark on a spelling of (Jo, Viccar).
According to the ship's manifest, in the spring of 1635, John Vasser, his wife Elizabeth, and their
indentured servant, Wm. Baker, sailed aboard the barque "Alice" with Richard Blake as Master of
the Ship. They departed from Gravesend, County Kent, England. This port was the embarking point
of the London Company emigrees.

In due time John Vasser, his wife, and servant settled in Virginia. Spellings from early records in
Virginia are Verser, Valser, Vassar, Vesser, Vassor, and Veser--all descendants of the first John
Vasser. Other spellings of this name include Vawser, Visser, Vausour, Vavasour, Vavazor, Vassall,
and some with the prefix Le. The surname survives rarely as Vawser.

Records show in England, in 1327, a Thomas Vassar of Essex and in 1332, a John Vassar in
Meaot. In Huguenot Historical Records are found Michael Vasseur and Nicholas Vasseur who were
killed by Indians in an attempted settlement of Florida.

The above from "The Descendants of John Vasser of Virginia (1635-1984): A Family History by
Lyndal G. Vessar.
John Vasser, his wife Elizabeth, and servant William Baker arrived in
Virginia in 1635. On 16 Nov 1635 John Vasser patented land (150 acres)
on Pagen creek in Isle of Wight County. John Vasser's will dated 14 Jan
1650, names his wife Elizabeth and these children (all of whom must have
been born in Virginia).
Elizabeth Vasser (oldest daughter)
John Vasser (oldest son)
Mildred Vasser
+ Peter Vasser
Ann Vasser
The immigrant John Vasser's oldest son. John, married and had a son
William, but by 1700 both that son John and his son William were dead,
leaving no further issue. Peter therefore laid claim to the 150 A. his
father, John the immigrant, had patented.
Peter Vasser's will probated 9 Jul 1709, names his wife Margaret Vasser
and these eight children:
John Vasser
Peter Vasser
William Vasser
Samuel Vasser
+ Elizabeth Carroll
Daniel Vasser
Mary Vasser
Joseph Vasser

Sounds like you know quite a lot about Peter Vasser already. According to
records of Isle of Wight county Virginia, he was born about 1640. In 1679,
he married Margaret Cripps,step daughter of George and presumed daughter of Joyce Cripps.
(who in her will names here mother as Flake) His will,dated 1708, names wife Margaret, sons;
William, Samuel, Daniel, Joseph, John, and Peter, Jr. and daughters; Elizabeth Carroll and
Mary Vasser.

Peter, of course, was the son of the "original" John Vasser, the immigrant,
who was born in England about 1595, and came to Isle of Wight county VA in
1635, aboard the ship "Alice", which sailed from Gravesend, County Kent,
England. His wife's name was Elizabeth DOW/DEW, and their marriage is
recorded on microfilm of the vestry book of St. Stephen's parish,
Gravesend, Kent, England.

Immigrant John Vasser died in 1650, leaving Elizabeth, his wife, and his
children, Elizabeth, b. 1636, John, Jr., 1638, Peter, 1640, Mildred, 1642,
and Ann, 1644, who were all minors, the eldest being 14 years old.

Source first chapter of "The Descendants of John Vasser 1635 - 1984" by Lyndal Vessar
I also have a few will sources.

John Size


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