Origins Available: English
Vilis is a name that first reached England
following the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Vilis family lived in Berkshire. Their name is derived from the Old English word welle,
and indicates the original bearer's residence near such a facility.
Early Origins of the Vilis family
The surname Vilis was first found in Berkshire where they held a family seat
at Hungerford Park, a baronetcy granted by King Charles I. They are believed to be descended from Baron
Welles, the Duke of Somerset
, and the grandmother of Henry VII, a Norman Baron
from Welles in Normandy
who was granted Rockingham Castle but was beheaded. Not all of the family emigrated to England
as Hugh and Robert de Wellis were listed in Normandy
in 1198. Effric de Welles held the fief or Wellis, Normandy
in 1180. CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Johannes Willeson was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) and Walter filius Wille held lands in Dumfries in 1214. CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) Walter Willys was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1327 and Roger Wyllys was found in Kent in 1438. Years later, Richard Willys was listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1517. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
Early History of the Vilis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Vilis research.Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1207, 1279, 1214, 1576, 1656, 1590, 1645, 1642, 1643, 1621, 1675, 1614, 1690, 1664, 1734, 1614, 1701, 1659, 1660, 1665, 1666 and are included under the topic Early Vilis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Vilis Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Vilis are characterized by many spelling variations
. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Vilis include Willis, Wilis and others.
Early Notables of the Vilis family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Willis (1576-1656), a member of the English landed gentry and Clerk of the Crown in Chancery at the outbreak of the English Civil War, owing to which he suffered the loss of his position and some of his estates; George Wyllys or... Another 127 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Vilis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Vilis family to Ireland
Some of the Vilis family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Vilis family to the New World and Oceana
Faced with the chaos present in England
at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia
in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Vilis, or a variant listed above: William Willis settled in Quidividi, Newfoundland, in 1703; Josiah Willis settled in Kiers Cove, Labrador, in 1766; Anne Willis settled in Virginia in 1620.