Show ContentsVidal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This noble family claim descent from the Normans, specifically from the Latin name Vitalis, which is derived from the Old French names Vitel, Viel, the name of some ten saints (Latin vitalis 'pertaining to life, vital'), and became common in England after the Conquest both in its learned form Vitalis and in the northern French form Viel. The absence of early forms of Vidal suggests that this was a later immigrant from Languedoc. Viel also survives as Veal. Vital may also be attributive from Middle English vital in the sense 'full of vitality' [1]

Early Origins of the Vidal family

The surname Vidal was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the early Latin spellings Vitalis, Vitel and Fitel were listed. In Devon, the Domesday Book records Vitalis de Colintone as holding lands there at that time. [2] [1]

The lands of Devon were held by Vitalis of Berny. Abbot Vitalis was Abbot of Westminster in 1076 and he may have been at the confirmation of Duke William as King of England at Lillebonne in Normandy in 1061.

Early History of the Vidal family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vidal research. Another 174 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1194, 1327, 1510, 1600, 1041, 1191, 1543, 1153, 1476, 1474, 1629, 1744, 1632, 1708, 1648, 1674 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Vidal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vidal Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Vial, Vidal, Vital, Viall, Veel, Vele, Veil, Veele, Vidall, Vital, Vitall, Viel and many more.

Early Notables of the Vidal family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Edward Veel or Veal (1632?-1708), an English nonconformist tutor, of good family, and born, probably in Gloucestershire. Robert...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vidal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vidal World Ranking

In the United States, the name Vidal is the 2,978th most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [3] However, in France, the name Vidal is ranked the 90th most popular surname with an estimated 30,219 people with that name. [4] And in South America, the name Vidal is the 49th popular surname with an estimated 80 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Vidal family to Ireland

Some of the Vidal family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Vidal migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Vidal or a variant listed above:

Vidal Settlers in United States in the 16th Century
  • Teresa Vidal who settled in New Spain in 1536
  • Alonso Vidal who sailed to Peru in 1592
Vidal Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Stephen Vidal, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [6]
  • Charles Vidal, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1764 [6]
  • Paul Vidal, aged 37, who landed in New York in 1799 [6]
Vidal Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Vidal, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1807 [6]
  • Benito Vidal, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1813 [6]
  • Anton Vidal, who landed in America in 1813 [6]
  • Agustin Vidal, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816 [6]
  • Raimundo Vidal, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1820 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Vidal migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Vidal Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Robert Vidal, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840

Contemporary Notables of the name Vidal (post 1700) +

  • Christina Vidal (b. 1981), American film and television actress
  • Gore Vidal (b. 1925), American writer and film actor/personality
  • Vicente J. Vidal, American politician, Honorary Consul for Guatemala at Pensacola, Florida, 1900; Honorary Consul for Cuba at Pensacola, Florida, 1904 [7]
  • Steven P. Vidal, American politician, U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue for New Mexico, 1941-51 [7]
  • Michel Vidal (b. 1824), American Republican politician, Delegate to Louisiana State Constitutional Convention, 1867; U.S. Representative from Louisiana 4th District, 1868-69; U.S. Consul in Tripoli, 1870-76 [7]
  • Eugene Luther Gore Vidal Jr. (1925-2012), American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1960; Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 29th District, 1960 [7]
  • Dagmar Vidal, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Iowa, 1971; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1972 [7]
  • Ricardo Tito Jamin Vidal (1931-2017), Filipino prelate of the Catholic Church, Archbishop of Lipa (1973–1981) and Cebu (1981–2010), President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference (1986–1987)
  • Laurent Vidal (1984-2015), French professional triathlete, three time French Champion (2009, 2011 and 2012) and two time Olympian
  • Ignacio Cobos Vidal (b. 1966), former field hockey player from Spain
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Daniel Vidal, American Mess Attendant First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [8]

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. "List of most common surnames in South America." Wikipedia,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from
  8. Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook