Vilan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Vilan family

The surname Vilan 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 Vilan family

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

Vilan Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Vilan family name include Villain, Vilain, Villane, Viland, Villein, Villin and many more.

Early Notables of the Vilan family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Vilan family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Vilan surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Jean Vilain who went to Virginia in the year 1700; or the unknown Villain recruited for service in the French colony of Louisiana in 1756. In 1843; Hubert Villain went to New York, and Emilie Vilain went to San Francisco during the gold rush there in 1851..



  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


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