This interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from any of the various places so called in Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Somerset (near Winford), deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "feld" meaning pasture, open country plus "tun", enclosure or settlement. Another place called Felton in Somerset has as its first element the Old English pre 7th Century "filiethe" meaning hay while Felton Hill in Northumberland has as its first element the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Fygla" (a derivative of "fugol" meaning bird). The surname is now found most frequently in the West Midlands of England, though it is also widespread in the United States. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Richard de Felton (1301-1302), The Feet of Fines of Surrey and Ranulph Feltone (1413), The Coroners Rolls, Staffordshire. London church records include one Elysabeth Felton, who married John Edwardys on July 31st 1547, at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, and Ellen Felton married John Machell on August 31st 1572, at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Felton, which was dated 1208 - 1209, Pleas before the King or his Justices, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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