Select Vincent Surname Genealogy

Vincent originates from the Latin Vincentius, a personal name from vincere, meaning "to conquer."   It owed its populariity in medieval Europe due to the veneration in which a 3rd century Spanish martyr, St. Vincent, was held. 

The name became Vicente in Spain and Vincent in France and England.  Sometimes Vincent became Vinson in America after losing its "t."

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Select Vincent Ancestry

Vincents number about 50,000 in France today.  They cut a broad swathe through the center of the country, from the Atlantic coast to the Alps.  French emigration has accounted for the Vincents to be found in Quebec and in Louisiana (following the emigration of the Acadians there in the late 18th century).  There were also French Huguenot Vincents who came to America.

England.  The Vincent name first began to appear in England in the early part of the 13th century.  William Vincent was recorded in the Cartulary of Oseney Abbey in Oxfordshire in 1230.

SW England  Vincent apeears, however, to have been very much a west country name.  Henry Vincent of Cornwall was a Royalist supporter during the Civil War, his son Walter a lawyer and MP for Truro during the Restoration (a Nicholas Vincent is a judge in Truro today).  A Vincent family history started with the marriage of Richard Vincent and Ann Justens in Sherborne, Dorset in 1667.  A number of Vincents were rounded up in the west country after Monmouth's Rebellion in 1685 (including one of the ringleaders, Captain John Vincent).

SE England  The Vincent name was also to be found in the southeast of England and there were outposts in East Anglia. In 1557 Thomas Vincent had married into a gentry family at Stoke d'Abernon near Leatherhead in Surrey. These Vincents became baronets in 1620.  Sir Edgar Vincent, the 16th baronet, was a British diplomat in the Balkans in the late 1800's.  Phil Vincent, born in London in 1908, was the founder of Vincent Motorcycles which produced the famous Black Shadow and Black Lightning motorbike marques.

Ireland.  A Vincent family from Suffolk came to Limerick around 1690 and settled at Summerhill, their residence outside Limerick town on the banks of the Shannon.  Many were mayors of Limerick over the next hundred years and many enlisted in the British army (the best known being General John Vincent who fought in the War of 1812).

Canada.  Vincents in Canada date from 1654 when Pierre Vincent arrived in Acadie (now Nova Scotia) from France.  However, these French Acadians were dispersed a hundred years later when the English took over the colony.  Pierre's descendant Joseph was taken as a prisoner of war to England where he died.  But his son Pierre Vincent made it to the new Acadian colony in Louisiana in 1785.  Vincents have remained in Canada, mainly in French-speaking Quebec.

English Vincents came to Newfoundland.  John Vincent from Devon, the captain of the Rachel, was recorded as a fisherman at St. John's in 1739; while John and Joseph Vincent were fishermen later at Twillingate and Fogo.  Then, beginning around 1810, came the Vincents, brothers John and George, of Cape Island.    

America.   Boyd Vincent's 1924 book Our Family of Vincents provides American genealogy.  Early English Vincents to America were:
  • John Vincent from London, recorded in Sandwich. Massachusetts in 1637
  • John and Rebecca Vincent, resident in New Haven, Connecticut by 1640
  • and William Vincent from Amesbury in Wiltshire, who arrived in Providence, Rhode Island around 1660
Charles Vincent was recorded as a creditor in Yonkers, New York in 1675.  His line was covered in Anna Vincent's 1959 book The Vincent Family.  Another New York Vincent family traces itself back in all probability to Ambrose Vincent of Dutchess county, born around 1725.  Benjamin Vincent of this family was a pioneer settler in Washington state on the West Coast.

There were also French Huguenot Vincents in the New York area from an early time.   An Adrien Vincent from Tournai in Belgium was recorded in Dutch New York as early as 1645.  Levi Vincent, born in France, had first fled to England and then crossed the Atlantic ansd settled in Newark, New Jersey in the early 1700's.  He died there in 1763 at the age of eighty seven.  His descendants moved onto Milton, Pennsylvania.

The Acadian Pierre Vincent arrived in Louisiana in 1785.  He married Catherine Galmand in 1790 and they were to have nine children and a very large number of descendants.  Today Louisiana has the largest concentration of Vincents in the United States.  A Vincent family reunion occurs every five years.

Australia and New Zealand.  Born in Hull, William Vincent had been involved as a journalist in the radical Chartist movements of the 1830's.  He then decided to depart for New Zealand, arriving there on the Slains Castle in 1841.  Here he became actively involved in the newspapers of the new colony, helping to found the Wellington Independent in 1845.  He later moved to Sydney, Australia.

An early Croatian settler in Australia was Vicko Vukovic from Dubrovnik.  He anglicized his name to John Vincent after his arrival in Western Australia in 1858.  Vincent Street in Perth is believed to have been named after George Vincent, the chief draftsman in the Lands Department in the 1870's.

Select Vincent Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Vincent Names

William Vincent was the Dean of Westminster Abbey who supervised its restoration in the early 19th century.
Phil Vincent was the British motorbike pioneer who founded Vincent Motorcycles in 1928.
Casey Vincent was an American flying ace of World War Two.
Fred Vinson was Chief Justice of the United States from 1946 to 1953.
Gene Vincent, born Vincent Eugene Craddock, was a 1950's rock and roll star.

Select Vincents Today
  • 22,000 in the UK (most numerous in Essex)
  • 20,000 in America (most numerous in Louisiana) 
  • 18,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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