The Neufville de Villeroy (sometimes spelled "Villeroi") family held two titles: Ducs de Villeroy and Ducs d'Alincourt. Both titles had developed from being mere gentry-titles to the title of Marquis into having the highest rank: that of a Duc. The duchy of Villeroy was a peerage title which means that it "out-ranked" the other titles possessed by the family. Also, Villeroy was the family surname and you will probably find more people simply referred to as "de Villeroy".
When Louis XIV died the Duc de Villeroy was appointed governor of the five-year old Louis XV; the boy-king became very fond of his governor and would devastated when he died. However, despite his royal popularity did not prevent the Regent from banishing the Duc de Villeroy who spent some time in disgrace.
The family had two residences of note. The Château d'Ombreval which was purchased in 1630 and the Hôtel de Villeroy which was finished in 1724.
From 1524-1651 the men of the Villeroy-family were elevated from the rank of "Seigneur" to Marquis. From 1651 the family was awarded the ducal crown as well. These are the men who bore the title of Duc de Villeroy and their wives.
Nicholas de Neufville de Villeroy (1598-1685) /
Madeleine de Blanchefort de Créquy. The couple had 4 children.
Francois de Neufville de Villeroy (1644-1730) /
Marguerite-Marie de Cossé-Brissac (1648-1708). The couple had 7 children.
|Francois de Neufville de Villeroy|
Louis Nicholas de Neufville de Villeroy (1663-1734) /
Marguerite Le Tellier de Louvois (?-1711). The couple had 4 children
Louis-Francois Anne de Neufville de Villeroy (1695-1766) /
did not marry, so the title passed to his nephew
Gabriel Louis Francois de Neufville de Villeroy (1731-1794) /
Jeanne Louise Constance d'Aumont (1731-1816). The couple had no children.
|Catherine de Neufville de Villeroy (1639-1707). |
Married to the Comte d'Armagnac
The title of d'Alincourt was raised to the rank of Duc in 1729. Until then it had been both "Seigneur" (from 1524) and Marquis. Since the title of Duc de Villeroy was the main family-title it passed to the eldest son who - as a Peer of France - had considerably more power than his younger brothers since the d'Alincourt-title was not a peerage. However, the last Duc de Villeroy was a son of a Duc d'Alincourt since Louis Francois Anne had no children.
Francois Camille de Neufville d'Alincourt (1700-1732) /
Marie Joséphine de Boufflers (1704-1738)
Gabriel Louis Francois de Neufville d'Alincourt (1731-1794), he also held the title of Duc de Villeroy / Jeanne Louise Constance d'Aumont (1731-1816)
|Crest of the Neufville de Villeroy family|
Over time the family were able to add more titles to their list. In 1716 the Duchesse de Retz died without an heir and the duchy of Retz passed on to the Neufville de Villeroy family. Consequently, the men of the family could style themselves Duc de Retz as well. The minor titles of Baron de Pouancé and Baron de La Guerche counted too but not quite as much.