This surname of FELICE was an English and German personal name, originally from a medieval given name FELIX, rendered in early documents in the Latin form FELICIS (lucky, fortunate). This was a relatively common Roman family name, which was very popular among early Christians, and was borne by a large number of early saints. It was also adopted as a Jewish surname. The name has travelled widely in many forms which include FILLIS, FELIX, FELI, FELIU, FELICETTI and DEL FELICE. 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. FELIX II (died.365) was the first antipope. He was ultimately regarded as a saint and martyr. FELIX III. (died.492) was Pope from 483-492. Under him the first disruption between the churches of the east and west began. Marcus Antonius FELIX (1st century AD) was a Roman procurator of Judaea in the time of the apostle Paul. He was a freedman of Claudius I and brother of his favourite Pallus. He cleared the country of robbers and suppressed the chaotic seditions of the Jews. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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