This is a personal and surname of ancient Roman origins. As a surname it can be European or Ashkenasic, although if the latter not until after 1655, in England. Eitherway the derivation is from the almost pre written history word 'felix' meaning happy. It was originally a baptismal name of endearment, which is also found in the female names Felicity, and the now much rarer medieval form of Felicia. The baptismal name was introduced into Northern Europe and Britain by Crusaders returning from their many attempts to wrest the Holy Land and particularly Jerusalem, from the Muslims. All the twelve crusades were unsuccessful, but this did not stop the Christian soldiers and pilgrims from calling their children by biblical names, in honour the father's efforts on behalf of the church. Curiously the very first known recording of the name in England is that of Felix monachus, or Felix, the monk, in the ancient charters of the county of Sussex in 1122, but he is unlikely to have been the first hereditary nameholder, as he almost certainly did not marry. As 'Felicia', the name is recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Worcester for the year 1194, and again in Warwickshire also as 'Felicia', in 1207. The first recording as a surname may be that of Hamo Felix of Kent in the Patent Rolls of 1229, and somewhat later that of Richard Felix of Colchester, Essex, in the court rolls of the city, in 1352.
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