This surname of FELTNER was an English and Jewish name of two-fold origin. It was a locational name for someone who lived by an area on high ground, or by a prominent crag, derived originally from a Norman/French word FJALL. It was also an occupational name for a furrier, from the German word FELL - which means hide or pelt. The name has numerous variant spellings which include FELLS, FELLER, FELLA, FELLNER, FELLERER, FELLERMAN and FELDNER. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A notable member of the name was John FELL (1625-86) the Anglican divine who, with three others contrived to maintain the Church of England services during the Commonwealth; after the Restoration he was made dean of Christ Church, and Oxford royal chaplain. He governed the college strictly, restored its buildings, was liberal to poor scholars, and did much to promote learning. In 1676 he became the bishop of Oxford. He rebuilt the episcopal palace at Cuddesdon. 'I do not like thee Doctor Fell' is ascribed to Tom Brown.
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