- This is a Northern locational surname which derives from one of the places called 'Fullwood' in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century 'ful' meaning dirty or foul, and wudu' - a wood. Presumably the original villages must have been on the edge of a swamp or at least standing water. In an age when hygiene was at best elementary, the woods really must have been foul! There is a suggestion that the name could mean 'the woods (containing) wild fowl', but this seems slightly illogical, in that in the days before the Norman Conquest of 1066, nine tenths of England were more or less covered by woodland in anycase. Nethertheless it is open to disagreement. What is certain is that the Lancashire village is recorded in the charter rolls of the county for the year 1228 as Fulewude, and again in 1252 but this time in the spelling of Fuluuode. The first recordings were in Yorkshire, as shown below. These include Ricardus de Folewode in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls, and Hugo de Fulwode in the same register. Later examples include William Fullwood of London (1498 - 1562) who was apparently a famed author in his day, whilst Christopher Fulwood, a native of Derbyshire, raised forces for King Charles 1st in the Civil War of 1640 - 1648. He was mortally wounded in a fight near the city of Derby in the year 1643. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Folewode, which was dated 1379, the Poll Tax Rolls for the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377 - 1399. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.