Vincent Surname Genealogy

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.
, was held.
The name became Vicente in Spain and Vincent
France and England. Sometimes Vincent became Vinson in America
after losing its “t.”

Resources on

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.

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 appears, 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
Justens in Sherborne, Dorset in 1667. A number of Vincents were
rounded up
in the west country after Monmouth’s
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,
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).

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
provides American genealogy. Early
English Vincents to America were:

  • John Vincent from London, recorded in Sandwich. Massachusetts in
  • 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

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 and
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

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
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
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.

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
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)




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