This is an interesting name of medieval English origin which is locational from places so called in Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Herefordshire and Berkshire. However, there are three possible derivations, the first being that the places in Hampshire and herefordshire are from the old English pre 7th Century "Filithe", a hay field, with "leah", a clearing, perhaps meaning a clearing where hay was harvested. The other place in Buckinghamshire has for its first element either the old English "Fealg", Fallowland or "Fealn", Fallow coloured and the place in Berkshire has "Felam", which possibly denotes a forest frequented by Fallow deer. Amongst recorded examples are, William Fawley who was christened on May 29th 1692 at St. Brides Fleet Street and Betty Fawley married John Pell on may 23rd 1742 at St. Mary's, Portsea, Hampshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Fawley, which was dated June 6th 1602, Hurley, Berkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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