The surname of FIELDER was derived from the Old English word 'feld' the dweller by the field. It was a piece of land especially used for tillage or pasture and usually bounded by hedges. The name is also spelt FIELDS, FIELD, FIELDING and FELD. Local names usually denoted where a man held land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Robert de Feld, 1185, County Gloucestershire. Hugo atte Feld, 1188 Bedfordshire. James atte Felder, was documented in the year 1327 in the County of Surrey. John in the Field, was recorded in County Somerset, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Stephen atte Feld of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on 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 name was taken to Ireland by settlers and in Gaelic is rendered as O'Fithcheallaigh, meaning the chess player. They were a sept of the Corca Laodhe, often abbreviated to Feely. The name appears in medieval Irish records as de la Felde. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms.
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