Vile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Vile is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a calf-heard which was in turn derived from the Old French word veel, meaning calf.

Early Origins of the Vile family

The surname Vile was first found in Gloucestershire where two knights by the name De Vile were honored in the Honour Roll of Battle Abbey in 1066 and were granted lands in that shire.

In later years, to the far south in Cornwall another branch of the family was found. "Trevayler, in [the parish of Gulval], is the property and residence of the Rev. William Veale, in whose family it has long been vested. This gentleman has considerable property in Gulval." [1]

Early History of the Vile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vile research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Vile Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Veale, Veal, Viall, Vile, Viell and others.

Early Notables of the Vile family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Vile family to Ireland

Some of the Vile family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Vile migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Vile name or one of its variants:

Vile Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Vile, who arrived in Virginia in 1698 [2]

Australia Vile migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Vile Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Edmund Vile (aged 18), a gardener, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Eliza"

New Zealand Vile 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:

Vile Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Vile, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Arab
  • William Vile, aged 30, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Sophia Vile, aged 29, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • James Vile, aged 10, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Charles Vile, aged 8, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Vile (post 1700) +

  • Kurt Samuel Vile (b. 1980), American indie rock musician
  • Curt Vile (b. 1953), pseudonym of the English writer Alan Moore, known for his work in comic books the Watchmen and V for Vendetta
  • William Vile (1700-1767), English cabinetmaker during the Georgian Age of the Designer, best known for his jewel cabinet of mahogany, inlaid with ivory made for Queen Charlotte in 1761
  • Job Vile (1845-1905), New Zealand politician, Member of Parliament for Manawatu (1902–1905)
  • Major Thomas Henry "Tommy" Vile MBE (1882-1958), Welsh international rugby union player and politician, President of the Welsh Rugby Union, High Sheriff of Monmouthshire


  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^ 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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