This unusual surname, chiefly found in the West Midlands and in Northern England, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical name from residence in a house situated in an open pasture, or a locational name from any of the minor localities called Field House, including Field House in south Hampshire; Field House near Stourbridge, Worcestershire, and Field House, adjoining Sowerby in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The derivation in all cases is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "hus", house, with "feld", pasture, open country. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious and convenient means of identification in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Locational names were originally given to the lord of the manor, or used to distinguish former inhabitants of a place who had settled in another area. One Randulphus Feldhowses was noted in the 1379 Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, and on October 27th 1560, the marriage of Edmund Fieldhouse to Elizabeth Knowles took place at Horton in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire. John Feeldhouse, aged 19 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Bonaventure" bound for Virginia in January 1634, was an early settler in the New World. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Feldeshous, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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