History associated with the Vawer family

In the past some Vawers have had considerable influence and are worthy of mention. Our history can for convenience be divided into five main eras. The following articles are under preparation and investigation. The statements below are just tasters of what information is to follow. We hope that they will be available soon

Beginnings - Wales

There is now no doubt that the Vawer family history is very closely linked to that of Wales. So far as can be determined, known Vawers all seem to link to an extensive welsh pedigree, and descendants moved from Wales in the late 16th century into Bristol and Somerset. Many of these welsh ancestors were very important people. We are endebted to the work of Sandra Oman of the Mediaeval research department at Salt Lake City. She has carried out extensive research into welsh genealogy and her assistance in extending our knowledge has been invaluable.

Side Shoots

There are a number of tenuous links which at present do not connect in an obvious way to our known direct line as outlined in the previous section. Here we look at some of these links, which are potentially of significant interest.

William Vawer, Bristol, and the Merchant Venturers

When studying the Vawer genealogy, one person's influence tends to be extremely prominent - that of William Vawer, Merchant. This William become a very prominent member of the Bristol society. He was influential in the early history of the Merchant Venturers, Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1602, and a major benefactor. We hope to be able to extend this section to share our knowledge of his considerable influence on Vawer history.


The Birdcombe years

One of the more interesting acts of Willam Vawer Merchant was the purchase of a property on the outskirts of Nailsea in Somerset known as Birdcombe Court. The property still exists with a copy of the Vawer Arms on display. The Court was in the ownership of several generations of Vawers. The current owner has supplied us with considerable information about the history of these premises and we are extremely grateful to him. We hope that these can be presented in the near future.

Nailsea, Crates and Glass

Having lost Birdcombe the family seems to have gone into somewhat of a decline over the next few generations. Many of the men are described as Cratemakers and were either working for, or in association wth the famous Nailsea Glass factory. From the highs of merchant trading, the family therefore became manual workers, and indeed many 19th century documents show a "Mark" rather than a signature showing a lack of formal education.

Spreading out. England and the World!

Nailsea Glass factory closed down in the second half of the 19th Century. As a result there was a considerable loss of jobs. Many of the Vawer members moved to the Industrial West Midlands, and other parts of England for employment. At the end of the century several took the opportunity to seek employment on the other side of the Atlantic in Canada and the USA. Some stayed; others returned. There are now Vawer members spread across the world. Modern Vawer members have the opportunity of 20th (and 21st) Century education, and are now represented in a number of skilled trades and professions.

One member of the family, William Vawer emigrated at Canada but decided to come back to England in 1935. Before the family returned William and his wife, Maria, had photographs taken of their Montreal Home. We think they make interesting viewing. Click Here for a look at these pictures.

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