This unusual name is derived from the Olde English and Anglo-Saxon 'Feorthling' and means like the coin, a fourth part, and refers to a land holding. The name in this spelling was originally found in County Cork, Ireland where it still retains some popularity. The origination was from the 6th Century, although the precise date of entry to Ireland is not kwown, however, a Marla Verlin, emigrated from Cork to America in 1846 during the potatoe famine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Purlac Ferthung which was dated C. 975, The Olde English Name Register. during the reign of King Edward, the Martyr 972 - 979 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.