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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Villiers family come from? What is the English Villiers family crest and coat of arms? When did the Villiers family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Villiers family history?

Villiers is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Villiers family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to Villiers, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Villers, Villiers, Villieres, Vilers, Viliers, Vilieres, Villars, Villere, Viller, Villier, Villiere, Viler, Vilier, Viliere, Villar, Villere, Devillieres and many more.

First found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Rokesby from the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William in 1066 A.D. Galderfridus de Villers of St. Evroult, accompanied Duke William into England with his son, Pagan de Villiers, who obtained the barony of Warrington in Lancashire and was also Lord of Crosby in that same shire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Villiers research. Another 259 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1606, 1574, 1626, 1621, 1625, 1620, 1689, 1656, 1711, 1591, 1657, 1592, 1628, 1628, 1687, 1682, 1721, 1654, 1693 and 1907 are included under the topic Early Villiers History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 205 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Villiers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Villiers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 197 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Villiers or a variant listed above:

Villiers Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • A. Villiers who settled in New Orleans La. in 1822
  • A. Villiers settled in New Orleans in 1822
  • John Villiers, aged 30, landed in New Orleans, La in 1823
  • M. C. Villiers settled in New Orleans La. in 1823
  • A. Villiers settled in New York state in 1823


Villiers Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Hon. George Herbert Hyde Villiers, aged 6, who landed in America from London, England, in 1912
  • Adeleine Verna Isabel Villiers, aged 26, who settled in America from London, England, in 1912
  • Aaron A. Villiers, aged 32, who emigrated to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1917
  • Evelyn Villiers, aged 43, who landed in America from Woking, Eng., in 1918
  • Freda Villiers, aged 17, who emigrated to the United States from Belfast, Ireland, in 1920


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  • George Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey, English peer
  • William Villiers (1707-1769), 3rd Earl of Jersey, Justice in Eyre south of the Trent (1740-1746), founding Governor of the Foundling Hospital
  • Thomas Villiers (1753-1824), 2nd Earl of Clarendon, Member of Parliament for Christchurch (1774-1780)
  • John Villiers (1757-1838), 3rd Earl of Clarendon, Member of Parliament for Old Sarum (1784-1790)
  • Charles Pelham Villiers (1802-1898), British lawyer and politician, longest serving Member of Parliament
  • Countess Barbara Villiers (1640-1709), Countess of Castlemaine
  • Thomas Villiers (1709-1786), 1st Earl of Clarendon, British politician and diplomat, Postmaster General (1763-1765) and in 1786
  • George Villiers (1759-1827), British courtier and politician, Member of Parliament for Warwick (1792-1800)


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fidei coticula crux
Motto Translation: The cross is the test of truth.

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Villiers Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Villiers Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 November 2013 at 13:07.

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