This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a professional player of the fiddle, or a nickname for a skilled amateur. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "fithelere", fiddler. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day urnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance the "fiddler". It may also be a nickname from the Anglo-Norman French phrase "vis de leu", composed of the elements "vis", face, "de", of, and "leu", wolf; hence "wolf-face". Hunfridus Uis de Leuu is listed in the Domesday Book of Berkshire (1086). The surname is first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below) and can also be found as Fiddler and Vidler. John le Fithelard is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire (1275), and John Fydeler is listed in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire (1379). Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; Robert Fidler who married Joan Shereman on April 21st 1567 at St. Dunstan's in the East, and William, son of William and Sara Fidler, who was christened on October 4th 1663 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a gold shield with three black bars wavy, the Crest being out of a gold ducal coronet, a demi griffin proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Visdelou, which was dated 1160, in the "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154-1189. 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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