Baron Viellard - 1066 invasion

Keith Willard
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In 1066 Baron Viellard left the Caen area of Brittany with William the Conqueror to help take the throne of England. William granted a large estate to the Baron called Eastbourne East Sussex. This was the landing area of the invasion. Over time and mainly because of illiteracy the surname Viellard was written down as Willard as that is how it sounded. There are records of Baron Viellard being at Rye East Sussex and today the surname of Willard is quite common around the Hastings/Bexhill area. There is no record of the Viellard (Willard) surname in England before 1066. There have been Coats of Arms granted to Family members and all depict on the top of the shield a debodied Griffin's Head. on the shield is always three wine containers and usually five pike heads (spear heads) Under the shield in ancient French is the family motto which I understand is "Through Hardship We Endure"

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