This is a variant dialectual spelling which derives from the Latin (Roman) "Vitalis", through the French "Vital" and was introduced by the Normans after 1066. The word was originally a Baptisimal name of endearment which meant "one full of life". There are many modern spellings of the name including Vial, Vidal, Vital, Fitel, Vitall and Fittall and in the 1086 Domesday Book, the name is recorded as Vitalis, Vitel ad Fitel, ("Vs" and "Fs" being interchangeable), although as a true surname, not until a century later as shown. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Estanus Fitele. which was dated 1175, The Abbey of Holme, Norfolk. during the reign of King Henry II, The Builder King, 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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