The surname of FELIX was a baptismal name 'the son of Felix' an ancient personal name, still in use. This name was a medieval given surname meaning 'one who was fortunate'. It was a relatively common Roman family name and popular among early Christians, and was borne by a number of early saints. The name is also spelt FELICE, FILLIS and FELICKSON. Early records of the name mention FELIX de Kanoto, who was documented during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Johannes Sorowles et FELIX of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Later instances of the name include Johannes FELIX who was recorded in the Wills at Chester in 1567. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function of the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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