Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Immigrant Ancestor: Lord John deVars

Some time ago, I worked on learning more about one of my Rhode Island ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. His name was Henry MARRYOT. Much to my delight, the assistant town clerk of the town went out, on her own free time, and photographed the memorial gravestone for me. There are field stones to mark the original resting places but the state of Rhode Island decided to put up a informational type memorial stone.

 Not knowing much about the wife, Mary SAUNDERS (1756-1828), I used a lot of resources to find out the names of her parents and grandparents. Her mother was a BABCOCK descendant and that went along quite well as there are still a lot of Babcocks in that area of Rhode Island.

However, her father's parents are another story.  Her father was William SAUNDERS who was named for his father William SAUNDERS. The elder William SAUNDERS (1713-1772) had a wife named Mary VARS.

Listening to my father's stories about Westerly, I knew there was a VARS drug store in Westerly, RI and there is a street there named for this family.

Soon, I disovered that Mary VARS had parents named Isaac VARS and Rebecca LARKIN. I thought that they must be the immigrant ancestors. But, they are not. I thought Isaac was born in Westerly but I guess he was not. He was born in FRANCE to a LORD JOHN de VARS. Yikes.

Do I believe this story written by a descendant? [I am taking a small clip of the page and the title page for you to look at.] Is this believable? Where do you draw the line (a duel pun) at family stories?


Melissa Clifford said...

I am also a descendant of Lord John De Vars. My mother's maiden name is Vars and grew up in southeastern Connecticut. I'm also curious whether this story is true as I have heard it before as well.

Midge Frazel said...

Let me know if you find out anything. Midge (

Just Me said...

I'm another descendent of Lord John de Vars.I've seen various versions of this over the years and in 1908, the Newport Daily News (Newport, RI) posted a 4 or 5 week series on "The Vars Family in America" It's worth checking out if you have a subscription to (and even if you don't, it's fairly inexpensive)

One of my mother's relatives (she was a Vars) sent her a letter some years ago and said she had traced the Vars family back to the 1200s in France. I'd love to get back that far in my family tree! I've no idea if you're still keeping up this blog, but hope to find out more information.


Midge Frazel said...

Bonnie: Thanks for your comment. I have a subscription to that database and I will look that up. I still write in this blog.