This name, with variant spelling Villard, is recorded in London church registers from the beginning of the 18th Century, and is a French Huguenot introduction. Refugees entering England towards the end of the 17th Century were almost entirely French, fleeing from religious persecutions in their own country. This name is a Provencal form of the Late Latin 'villare', an outlying farm or dependent settlement, a derivative of 'villa', a farm or country house, and is therefore of habitational origin. A Coat of Arms granted to the Veillard family of Pays de Vaud, a French-speaking canton in Switzerland, is recorded heraldically in 'Rietstaps's Armorial General'.It has a blue shield with a golden mullet on either side, and on a gold paly a blue cross between two arrows. On April 9th 1710 Jean, son of Abraham and Marie Veillard, was christened in the French Huguenot church, Threadneedle Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francois Villard, (christening), which was dated November 30th 1701, Glasshouse Street and Leicester Fields French Huguenot, London. during the reign of King William III of Orange and England, 1689 - 1702. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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