This curious surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a diminutive of Fu(l)cher, itself deriving from the Old German male given name "Fulchar, Fulcher", a compound of the elements "folk", people, and "her(r)", lord; hence, "lord of the people". Introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, "Fulcher" replaced the cognate pre-existing Anglo-Saxon "Folchere", and the Old Danish "Folkar". "Fulcher" is recorded (without surname) in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Suffolk, and a Rogerus filius (son of) Foukere was noted in the 1201 Curia Regis Rolls of Oxfordshire. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type. Early examples of the original surname include: Ralph Fulcher (Suffolk, 1182); Nicholas Fuker (Devonshire, 1234); and Warin Fucher (Essex, 1235). Modern diminutives of the name include: Fuche, Fuge, Fughe, Fuidge and Fudge, the last mentioned form being particularly widespread in Somerset. On January 26th 1576, William Fudge and Margaret Goughe were married at Bruton, Somerset. A further unusual variant form is that of 'Fuidge' which seems to be a pure Devonian dialectal spelling, although one of great antiquity. An example is that of Margaret Fuidge who married Lancelot Bagelhole at Hartland, North Devon, on August 24th 1589, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 (1558 - 1603). A Coat of Arms granted to the family is an ermine shield with three silver plates on a red bend, the Crest being a demi lion holding an anchor proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Fulchier, which was dated 1167, in the "Pipe Rolls of Hampshire", 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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