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Meaning and Origin of Surname Villavicencio


Vi-lla-vi-cen-cio is pronounced as:

/,bi'ya'vi'sɛnsyɔ/ is the International Phonetic Alphabet  (IPA) pronunciation.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011, on

Another pronunciation version is:
Based on The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press.

"Villavicencio" was derived from the words “Villa” and “Vicencio”. “Villa” is the Latin word for a country house, a country estate, a manor, farm or village while “Vicencio” came from the Spanish personal name “Vincencio” whose Latin word is “Vincentius”. The word “Vincentius” was derived from the word “vincens” whose genitive is “vincentis” and is the present participle of “vincere” which means “to conquer”. “Vincentius” means "conquering" and was used as a personal name describing a person's victory or describing his characteristics. 
The surname "Villavicencio" originated from Spain from the place-name "Villavicencio de los Caballeros", a place in the Valladolid province of north-central Spain. The surname was derived from the name of the place where it's original bearer resided. 

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Villavicencio de los Caballeros in Valladolid, Spain

The earliest record of the use of the name Villavicencio occurred with Miguel Fernandez, Lord of Villavicencio. In the book "Nobiliario de los Reinos y Señorios de Espana", (2nd edition) page 302,  written in 1857 by Francisco Piferrer, he describes Miguel Fernandez as a vassal of the Lord VIII Alonso, King of Leon and Castille and a "rico-hombre" meaning a magnate (wealthy, powerful and influential). He was given many privileges in 1198 and was rewarded with vast lands by the king. The place  Villavicencio de los Caballeros was where Miguel's knights and their families settled. It was a village of conquerors and Miguel was the progenitor of the knights of this lineage.

The son of Miguel Fernandez was Garcia Fernandez Rasura, owner of the Villavicencio Manor in Castille. (Note: the Spanish form of surname contains both the first surname which is the father’s surname and followed by the second surname, the maternal surname). He served the king at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 as squadron leader where he fought against the Moors with great courage. Heavily wounded, he chanced upon the king and fell on his feet. The king held on to his harness and his royal hands became bloody. Thus, he ordered the addition of five bleeding fingers on their coat of arms which was blue stripes on gold in memory of the valour of Garcia. It became the coat of arms of the Knights of the Lords of the Banda Villavicencio which was instituted in Burgos by King Alonso(Alfonso) VIII in earlier years. He became known as Garcia Fernandez Rasura de Villavicencio

The son and successor of Garcia was Miguel Fernandez de Villavicencio. With King Ferdinand III, they reconquered Andalucia from the Moors in 1264 including Jerez de la Frontera. Having lost his father's Villavicencio Manor in Castille because of political problems, he travelled to and settled his family in Jerez de la Frontera where he was also rewarded with land. His descendants had continually been running the affairs of the place since then.  His son Gonzalo Nuñez de Villavicencio became the regidor of Jerez de la Frontera.

Translated from:
"Nobiliario de los Reinos y Señorios de Espana", 2nd edition, 1857
by: Francisco Piferer

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