Villain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Villain family

The surname Villain 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 Villain family

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

Villain Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Villain have been found, including Villain, Vilain, Villane, Viland, Villein, Villin and many more.

Early Notables of the Villain family (pre 1700)

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

Villain Ranking

In France, the name Villain is the 500th most popular surname with an estimated 8,952 people with that name. [2]


United States Villain migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Villain, or a variant listed above:

Villain Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Villain, who landed in Maryland in 1646 [3]
Villain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hubert Villain went to New York in 1843

Canada Villain migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Villain Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Catherine Villain, aged 17, who arrived in Montreal in 1653


  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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