This French surname of VELEZ was an occupational name for a watchman, originally derived from the Old French word VEILLE, and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form VIGILIA (to watch). The name is also spelt VEELE, VEALE, VEALL, VEAIL, VEIL, VELA, VEILLETT and VEILLOT. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. During the 17th century surnames were brought to Britain, North America and southern Africa by French Huguenot exiles. The Huguenots were French Protestants, and in 1572 large numbers of them were massacred in Paris on the orders of Queen Catherine de'Medici. Many of the survivors sought refuge in England and elsewhere. Although the Edict of Nantes (1598) officially guaranteed religious toleration, persecution continued, and the Edict was revoked by Louis XIV in 1685. It was then the trickle of emigration became a flood. Many migrated to England, while others joined groups of Dutch Protestants settling around the Cape of Good Hope. Others sailed across the Atlantic to establish themselves in North America. Instances of the name in England include Edward VELLE, of County Gloucestershire, who registered at Oxford University in the year 1576, and Thomas VEALE of Lincolnshire, who enrolled in the same year. Margaret, daughter of Thomas VEALE was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1673, and James Hall and Martha VEALL were wed at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1790. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
Orders over $85 qualify for Free Shipping within the U.S. (Use coupon code: FREESHIP).