This curious and intriguing name is of Anglo-Norman French origin, and is derived from a nickname or an occupational surname for an usher, an attendant specifically employed to escort or direct people to the places prepared for them in a nobleman's house, or the court. The name derives from the Anglo-Norman French phrase "fete place", meaning literally "make room". Job-descriptive names, such as this, originally denoted the actual ccupation of the namebearer, and gradually became hereditary. Early examples of the surname include: Robert Fetesplace (1227, Bedfordshire); Adam Fetteplace (1260, Oxfordshire); and Walter Feteplece (1273, ibid.). This surname belongs specifically to Oxfordshire, and was the name borne by a 14th Century mayor of the City of Oxford, and one Edward Fetiplace was listed in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1546. The modern surname forms range from Fettiplace, Fette(r)place and Phittiplace, to Phettiplace, Phateplace and Phetteplace. The marriage of Edward Fetterplace and Elizabeth Forth was recorded in Norfolk in 1599. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name depicts two silver chevrons on a red shield; the Crest is a green griffin's head erased, beaked red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Faiteplace, which was dated 1210, in the "Cartulary of Oseney Abbey", Oxfordshire, 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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