Show ContentsVilliers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Villiers is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Villiers family lived in Villiers, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

"The family are said to have come into England with the Conqueror, which is probable. There are at present six places in Normandy so called, besides a larger number called Villers, one of the numerous ways in which the surname is spelled. The Earl of Jersey's family trace to Alexander de Villiers, lord of Brokesby, co. Lancaster, early in the XIII, century. Sir Richard de Villars was a Crusader under Edward I., and hence the cross and escallop shells in the coat-armour of his descendants." [1]

The existing family of Villiers "claim to belong to the race of Villiers in Normandy, from which sprang Pierre de Villiers, Grand Master in the reign of Charles VI., and Jacques de Villiers, Provost of Paris and Mareschal of France in the same period." [2]

Early Origins of the Villiers family

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." [3] The previous shield was "Sable, three cinquefoils argent."

"Michael de Valers was summoned from Gloucester in 1300, for military service in Scotland." [2]

Early History of the Villiers family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Villiers research. Another 130 words (9 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Villiers Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Villiers family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Villers of Brooksby; and his son, Sir John Villers (1485-1544), of Brooksby Hall, Leicestershire, an English politician, High Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire for 1531-1532 and 1537-1538, Member of the Parliament for Leicestershire in 1539; Sir George Villiers, of Brokesby (1550-1606), member of the English gentry; Sir Edward Villiers (c. 1574-1626), an English diplomat, office-holder and politician who sat in the House of Commons...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Villiers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Villiers Ranking

In France, the name Villiers is the 7,555th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Villiers family to Ireland

Some of the Villiers family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 104 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Villiers migration to the United States +

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
  • A. Villiers who settled in New Orleans La. in 1822
  • A. Villiers, who settled in New Orleans in 1822
  • John Villiers, aged 30, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1823 [5]
  • M. C. Villiers, who settled in New Orleans La. in 1823
  • A. Villiers, who settled in New York state in 1823
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Villiers Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Hon. George Herbert Hyde Villiers, aged 6, who landed in America from London, England, in 1912
  • Adeleine Verna Isabel Villiers, aged 26, who settled in America from London, England, in 1912
  • Aaron A. Villiers, aged 32, who immigrated to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1917
  • Evelyn Villiers, aged 43, who landed in America from Woking, Eng., in 1918
  • Freda Villiers, aged 17, who immigrated to the United States from Belfast, Ireland, in 1920
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Villiers migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Villiers Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Adeluna Verena Villiers, aged 28, who settled in Pickering, Canada, in 1914
  • George Herbert Arthur Villiers, aged 7, who immigrated to Pickering, Ontario, in 1914

Australia Villiers migration to Australia +

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

Villiers Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Villiers, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Exmouth" on 3rd March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]

New Zealand Villiers 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:

Villiers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Villiers, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842

Contemporary Notables of the name Villiers (post 1700) +

  • John Villiers (1757-1838), 3rd Earl of Clarendon, Member of Parliament for Old Sarum (1784-1790)
  • Thomas Villiers (1753-1824), 2nd Earl of Clarendon, Member of Parliament for Christchurch (1774-1780)
  • William Villiers (1707-1769), 3rd Earl of Jersey, Justice in Eyre south of the Trent (1740-1746), founding Governor of the Foundling Hospital
  • George Villiers, 4th Earl of Jersey, English peer
  • George Villiers (1759-1827), British courtier and politician, Member of Parliament for Warwick (1792-1800)
  • Thomas Villiers (1709-1786), 1st Earl of Clarendon, British politician and diplomat, Postmaster General (1763-1765) and in 1786
  • Countess Barbara Villiers (1640-1709), Countess of Castlemaine
  • Charles Pelham Villiers (1802-1898), British lawyer and politician, longest serving Member of Parliament
  • Edward Villiers Rippingille (1798-1859), English painter and writer on art, son of a farmer at King's Lynn in Norfolk
  • Stephen Villiers Appleby (1912-1984), English pilot, a leading proponent of the Mignet Pou-du-Ciel "Flying Flea" aircraft

The Villiers Motto +

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.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022). on Facebook