This most interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a locational name from Felbrigg, a parish near Cromer in Norfolk, which also contains Felbrigg Hall. This placename, recorded as "Felebruge" in the Domesday Book of 1086, is composed of the Old Scandinavian elements "fiol-bryggia", plank bridge. The surname itself is also found in the modern idiom as Philbrook. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The name first appears in records in the late 13th Century (see below), while Roger de Felebregge was mentioned in the Pleas Records in 1292. "The History of Norfolk" states that one Robert de Fellbrig was abbot of North Creak, Norfolk in 1412. Further early recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of John Fylbrygge and Roda Longman on May 8th 1572, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the christening of John, son of John and Mary Philbrick on January 14th 1732, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matilda de Felbregge, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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