This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is from a nickname meaning "son of the king", derived from the Anglo-Norman French "fi(t)z le rei". In some cases the nickname was bestowed on an illegitimate son of a monarch, but it was more probably a humorous allusion to a child of unknown parentage, who claimed an illustrious father. The nickname was also bestowed on a man who gave himself airs, acting as if he were of royal blood. This is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nickname. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal or bird's appearance or disposition, habits of dress and occupation. The modern surname can be found as Fillery, Fillary and Fildrey. Among the recordings in London are the marriages of William Fillery and Susan Wankling on June 21st 1731 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, and of Peter Fillery and Hannah Reed on April 1st 1785 at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Fylderay, which was dated 1332, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", 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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