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Villeneuve Coat of Arms / Villeneuve Family Crest

This surname of VILLENEUVE was a Spanish habitation name from any of the numerous places so called, which acquired their name from the Spanish VILLA (settlement) and NUEVA (new). The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form VILNOVA. The name is also spelt VILANOVA, VILLANOVA, VILLENEUVE and VILLENAVE. In the 8th century, Spain fell under the control of the Moors, and this influence, which lasted into the 12th century, has also left its mark on Hispanic surnames. A few names are based directly on Arabic personal names. The majority of Spanish occupational and nickname surnames, however, are based on ordinary Spanish derivatives. In Spain identifying patronymics are to be found as early as the mid-9th century, but these changed with each generation, and hereditary surnames seem to have come in slightly later in Spain than in England and France. As well as the names of the traditional major saints of the Christian Church, many of the most common Spanish surnames are derived from personal names of Germanic origin. For the most part these names are characteristically Hispanic. They derive from the language of the Visigoths, who controlled Spain between the mid-5th and early 8th centuries. The name is also spelt VILLENEUVE. A notable member of the name was Pierre Charles Jean Baptiste de Sylvestre VILLENEUVE (1763-1806) the French naval commander, born in Valensoles (Basses Alpes). As rear-admiral, he commanded the rear division of the French navy at the battle of the Nile (1798) and saved his vessel and four others. In 1805 he took command of the fleet designed to invade England, but was brought to battle by Nelson off Cape Trafalgar and defeated. He was taken prisoner but released in 1806. On his way to report to Napoleon in Paris, he committed suicide. 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.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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