Last name: Boyce

Recorded as Boys, Boyse, Boice, Boyce, Boyson and others, this interesting "British Isles" surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a wood, and hence deriving from the Old French word "bois", probably introduced by the Normans after the Conquest of England in 1066, secondly it may be a patronymic from the Middle English occupational word "boy" meaning a lad or young servant, thirdly it may derive from an Old English and Welsh pre 7th century personal name Boia. If Irish is derives from the ancient Gaelic name O' Buadhaigh, the prefix O' meaning "grandson or descendant of", plus Buadhach, a personal name meaning "victorious". The surname dates back to the early 13th century (see below), and examples of these recordings include Thomas Boys in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296, and Robert du Boys in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. Other early examples of recordings include those of Judith, the daughter of Peter Boyes, who was christened at St. Ann's Blackfriars, in the city of London on April 14th 1573, whilst John Frederick Boyes (1811 - 1879) was a classical scholar who published many works relating to classical and English poetry. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas del Bois. This was dated 1201, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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