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Vize Name Study

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Vize Vise Vyse
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How to Join

Please contact the project leader Sue Vize or leave a comment at the foot of the page. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect.

The surname most probably has multiple origins. To date two key nodes are under study: Vizes of Wiltshire/Berkshire, and Vizes of Limerick and Cork, Ireland. Additional information on the Vyses of Staffordshire and Vizes of Iowa/Indiana has been collected but not analysed.

The Vize (Vise, Vyse, Vyze) One Name Study was registered with the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS) in 2015. Initially starting from research of my Vize family ancestors (Victoria, Australia) but leading to collection of data from England, Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, Canada and the USA. An article on the study was published in the GOONS newsletter in 2016.

The various surname dictionaries on English names are inconclusive on the meaning and origin of the Vize surname. Reaney and Wilson conclude it is Old French and likely to be of Norman origin and means “dweller by the boundary.” They place Vize in Wiltshire, Cornwall and Sussex through the occurrence of early records in these areas, but favour Wiltshire as the place of origin. Most surname dictionaries agree on Wiltshire as a point of origin . Guppy describes Vyse as a Hertfordshire name. Lower concluded there may be multiple origins, including Devizes in Wiltshire.

There is evidence of similar names, which may be related, in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. Historical data sets for baptisms show many possibly related surnames, particularly in Western European countries, but also in some Eastern European countries.

The first recorded usage of the surname Vize dates to the year 1296 . The Canterbury Cathedral Dean and Chapter Archives holds quitclaims dated 1296 and 1298 that record a John le VYSE as a witness to two land leases in Southchurch, Essex.

From study of records globally it appears that Vize may have come from multiple sources of different origins and through anglicisation and other changes. In England there is evidence of the name from the earliest records, especially from the villages in the west of Berkshire and east of Wiltshire. The Victorian Vize line is traced back to this area.

Included in the study are people with the surname Vize/Vise/Vyse, people with a parent with the surname Vize/Vise/Vyse, and people that carried the surname as a middle name indicating their ancestry.

Task List

1. Connect / tag Vizes in Wikitree

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