Recorded in many forms including Ville, de Ville, de Villier, Desvilles (France), Vila, Vilas (Catalonian), Villa (Spanish), Villetta (Italian), and others, this is a famous surname of Roman origins, although specifically associated with France. It is habitational, and describes a person who lived in the centre of a village, as opposed to the outskirts, or it is locational from any of the various places called Villa, Ville, and Vila found throughout Southern Europe. It was one of the most important surnames introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066, and many branches of the English nobility trace their ancestry back to the invaders who carried this name. These include the earls of Anglesey, Jersey, Clarendon and Grandison, and the sometimes infamous dukes of Buckingham. The name has often undergone transposition including the fusion of the preposition de or d' where they occur into the remainder of the name to create for instance - Darvel or Devil. The coat of arms for Vila of Catalonia has the blazon of a red field charged with a triple castle in silver, and a border chequy. Early examples of the surname recording include Jaime Vila, a baptismal witness on February 11th 1575 at Tennerife in the Balearic Islands, and Manuela Vila who married Ildefonso Colominas at Barcelona, on March 22nd 1831. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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