The surname of VILLARD was a locational name 'of Villiers' a spot in France. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. Other spellings of the name include VILLERS, VILLARS, VILLIS, DEVILLIERS, VILA and VILLAR.The earliest of the name recorded appears to be William de Vilers, who was documented in County Surrey in the year 1130, and William de Viliers appears in 1185 in County Yorkshire. Nicholas de Vylirs was recorded in 1327. Roger de Vilers of County Somerset was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Edward Villis of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Later instances of the name mention Daniel Ville and Sarah Larching who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1731, and Walter Mason and Elizabeth Villers were married at the same church in 1780.
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