This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the oldest locational surnames to have survived to the present day. The surname derives from the place called 'Firle' in Sussex, which is recorded in the 'Saxon Charters' of circa 790 as 'Firolaland', as 'Ferle' in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as 'Fierles' in 1201. During the early 13th Century, the settlement was divided into 'East' and 'West Firle', as recorded in the Fines Court Rolls of Sussex for 1236 and 1256 respectively, as 'Estfirle' and 'Westferles'. The place name means '(place) covered with oaks', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century adjective 'fierol', ultimately from the Old High German 'fereh-eih', Old Lombardic 'fereha', oak. Locational names were given particularly to those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were thereafter identified with the name of their birthplace. The marriage of Ann Firle and Richard Brooker was recorded on April 7th 1690 at Street in Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Fyrrell (christening), which was dated January 27th 1593, Calne, Wiltshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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