The surname of FELLA was a locational name 'the dweller at the fell' from residence on or near the fells. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name is also spelt FELL, FELLE and FELLES. Early records of the name mention Thomas Fell and Margaret Wright, who were married at St. Mary, Ulverston, in the year 1545. Brian Fell of Pennington Furness, was listed in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in the year 1680. Christopher Fell of Ulverston, ibid. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. 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 Restoriation 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. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at St. Martin's-in-the-Field's, County Middlesex.
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