An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, French
Villiers is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Villiers family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to Villiers, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
The surname Villiers was first found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Rokesby from the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William in 1066 A.D. Galderfridus de Villers of St. Evroult, accompanied Duke William into England with his son, Pagan de Villiers, who obtained the barony of Warrington in Lancashire and was also Lord of Crosby in that same shire. Interestingly, "the present coat of arms is said to have been assumed in the reign of Edward I., as a badge of Sir Richard de Villars' services in the crusades."  The previous shield was "Sable, three cinquefoils argent."
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Villers, Villiers, Villieres, Vilers, Viliers, Vilieres, Villars, Villere, Viller, Villier, Villiere, Viler, Vilier, Viliere, Villar, Villere, Devillieres and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Villiers research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1485, 1544, 1531, 1532, 1537, 1538, 1539, 1550, 1606, 1574, 1626, 1621, 1625, 1620, 1689, 1656, 1711, 1591, 1657, 1592, 1628, 1628, 1687, 1682, 1721, 1654, 1693 and 1907 are included under the topic Early Villiers History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 279 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Villiers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Villiers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Villiers or a variant listed above:
Villiers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Villiers Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Villiers Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
Villiers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fidei coticula crux
Motto Translation: The cross is the test of truth.
The Villiers Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Villiers Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 24 November 2015 at 16:07.