- Recorded as D'Vaux, De Vaux, Vaux, D'Avaux, Devo, Devot, Devote, Devoy, Devoye, and probably others, this is a famous English surname, but usually one of Norman French origins. Introduced into England in two separate periods, the first and most prominent, being by followers of William the Conqueror at the Invasion of 1066, it is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "de Vaux" and sometimes as de Vals, de Valibus and de Wals. Secondly it also came into England from the 16th century and in many spellings as a Huguenot refugee name, although the origin is the same. The surname from these sources is locational, being from any of the various places in northern France called Vaux or Veaux. This is a derivation from plural form of "val", meaning a valley. Most early examples of the surname in England are found with the preposition "de", but there are some, such as Agnes le Vaus of Worcestershire in 1275, which suggest a different derivation being a nickname for someone thought to be unreliable. This is from the Middle English word "faus", meaning false, and was probably a theatrical name for an actor, one who played the part of a crook in the famous travelling theatres and pageants of the period. In southern England "v" was used instead of "f". One of the early settlers in the New wolrd was John Vaux, who was granted a ticket on the ship "Roe Buck of London", bound for the island of Barbados in May 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Vaux. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Essex, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.