Viola History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Viola family

The surname Viola was first found in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates in that county.

Early History of the Viola family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Viola research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1106, 1432, 1455, 1487, 1634, 1662 and 1634 are included under the topic Early Viola History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Viola Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Viola has undergone many spelling variations, including Villet, Villette, Villettes, Violet, Vilett, Vilet, Violett and many more.

Early Notables of the Viola family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Violet (fl. 1634-1662), English writer on trade, a goldsmith and alderman of London. in 1634, he was imprisoned for twenty weeks in the same year...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Viola Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Viola Ranking

In the United States, the name Viola is the 5,014th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Viola is ranked the 8,361st most popular surname with an estimated 500 - 1,000 people with that name. [2]

Migration of the Viola family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Viola were among those contributors: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..


Contemporary Notables of the name Viola (post 1700) +

  • Joseph F. Viola, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Kings County 18th District, 1932 [3]
  • John Viola, American Democratic Party politician, Member of Delaware State House of Representatives 26th District; Elected 1998; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Delaware, 2004 [3]
  • Frank J. Viola, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Bronx, New York, 1966-80 [3]
  • Viola Irene Desmond (1914-1965), Canadian Civil Rights Advocate, she was unjustly convicted of a minor tax violation for not leaving a whites-only area of the Roseland Theatre, Nova Scotia in 1946; she was granted a posthumous pardon, the first to be granted in Canada, she will be featured on the $10 Canadian bank note in 2018
  • Viola Essen (1917-1961), American born of Romanian parents, rose to beceom a noted dramatic actor
  • Viola Smith (1912-2020), née Schmitz, an American drummer best known for her work in orchestras, swing bands, and popular music from the 1920s until 1975, one of the first professional female drummers
  • Viola J. Buddington, American politician, First Selectman of Norwich, Connecticut, 1957 [4]
  • Viola Davis Brown (1936-2017), American nurse and strong participant in the civil rights movement from Lexington, Kentucky
  • Viola Meynell (1885-1956), birth name of Mrs. Dallyn, an English writer, novelist and poet, daughter of Wilfrid Meynell and Alice Thompson Meynell
  • Viola Harris (1926-2017), American actress known for roles in television, theater and film, known for her roles with Woody Allen including The Other Guys, Choke, and Deconstructing Harry


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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