This interesting name is a derivative of the Latin Felicia, the female of Felix, a name meaning 'happy' - a baptisimal name of endearment. The modern personal name is Phylis although originally found in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066 as Felicia (1194, Worcester) and Felis (1381, Suffolk) whilst Margaret Ffelys was also recorded in Suffolk in 1469 AD. The modern surname spellings are usually Felice or Fillis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert Felice. which was dated 1279 - The Hundred Rolls of Cambridge. during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.