Last name: Moses

This name, with Ashkenazic variants Moshe and Mozes, and English variants Moyses, Moyse, Moise and Moyce, derives from the name of the Israelite leader, Moses, in the Book of Exodus who led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. The name has two popular origins, the first from the Hebrew root "msh" meaning "to draw", a reference, no doubt, to the story of the infant Moses being drawn out of the water by Pharoah's daughter. The second is Egyptian from the element "moshe" meaning "conceived by (a certain god)". In Britain, the name first appears as Moyses in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Mosse, the normal medieval vernacular form of the name, later emerged. Master Mosse, a member of the Jewish Community in London, was recorded in "The Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire", dated 1260. On February 13th, 1549, Rachel Moses, an infant, was christened in St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Almer Mosse, which was dated Circa 1153 - "Records of St. Benet of Holme", Norfolk, during the reign of King Stephen, "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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.

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