Vilain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Vilain family

The surname Vilain was first found in the Domesday Book where Hugo de Villana, in 1086, held land at Taunton in Somerset of the Bishop of Winchester. Richard Villanus was of Gloucestershire 1189-90 (Pipe Rolls). In the following century the name occurs in several other counties. William, John, and Hugh le Vileyn, in Shropshire, Richard le Vileyn, in Oxfordshire, and Robert Vilein, in Yorkshire, all appear in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1272. Was the latter the Robert, son of Ralph Villayn de Binglay, who gave lands at Helwick to Rievaulx Abbey, and was likewise a benefactor of Drax Priory, where he lies buried? Simon his son confirmed his grants." [1]

In Lincolnshire, Sir William Vileyn, jointly with Swene le Rich, founded a Preceptory for Templars at Mere in the time of Henry H. He gave them three carucates of land at Mere, "six miles south of Lincoln, on what was formerly the commencement of a region of open country called Lincoln Heath. In the time of Henry III., Mere was held by William Albini of Beauvoir. Of this family were probably William and John villan, mentioned in Suffolk in 1199 in the Curia Regis Rolls. A Richard Vilain witnesses a grant to Belvoir Priory in 1223. [1]

Early History of the Vilain family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vilain research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Vilain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vilain Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Vilain has been recorded under many different variations, including Villain, Vilain, Villane, Viland, Villein, Villin and many more.

Early Notables of the Vilain family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Vilain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vilain Ranking

In France, the name Vilain is the 689th most popular surname with an estimated 6,978 people with that name. [2]


United States Vilain migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Vilain or a variant listed above:

Vilain Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Vilain who went to Virginia in the year 1700
  • Jean Vilain, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [3]
Vilain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Emilie Vilain went to San Francisco during the gold rush there in 1851
  • Emilie Vilain, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  3. ^ 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)


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