Last name: Moye
There is considerable doubt as to the true origin(s) of this most interesting locational surname. It is well recorded as 'Moy' in England, Ireland and France, however the form with the intrusive 'e' would seem to be an English development, but probably deriving from the original French. Both in France and Ireland there are many places called 'Moy', the word apparently deriving from ancient Gaelic and Breton, and describing a water meadow or brook. To add to the confusion the surnames May and Mee have a similar ancestry. The Irish however make the claim that the development is from O'Muighe, (the descendant of Muighe), however as a number of English 'planters' from the 16th century are recorded in Ulster as 'Moy', there is certainly some doubt. Furthermore a famous English pirate of the period was one Lambert Moye, so an English- French origin seems the likely origin for most nameholders. Amongst the early name recordings is that of Richard and Mary Moye, whose daughter Elizabeth was christened at St Mary Le Bone, on October 15th 1690, whilst earlier in France Nicholas Moy of Tournes, Ardenne, was a witness there on December 1st 1664. Other recordings include Anne Marie Moye who married Thomas Stenson at Ringcurran, County Cork, Ireland on November 21st 1846, the Coat of Arms granted in France, has the blazon of a gold field, charged with a saltire between four martlets, all red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Moy, which was dated January 15th 1576, who married Emma Prockter at Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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I was told 5 years ago the the surname Moye, really originated in spain (from a Rabbi down in Texas, that studies crypto jews in Spain forced by the inquision, ), that the name was jewish and meant "sharp dresser" have you ever heard this? I was very very doubtful...we're southern baptist a few generations back.....but.grandma always said before she passed away about the Moye's "we come from a group of people that settled in Ireland, called ourselves scotch irish, but we have nothing to do with the people"...and my other cousin says he was told :the Moyes came flying by the seat of their pants or they'd be slaughtered.......never understood these?, but now it's making me wonder if Spain was the originator of the name, makes sense..my grandma Moye wouldn't eat pork or mix milk and meat together during a meal..
Having done an amazing amount of research I have come to several conclusions, 1)The surname, much like many others crawled across Europe throughout the 10th & 11th centuries and found it's way to England shortly after the Crusades. It's origin is found in the long disputed Southern France/Northern Spain border region, there's even a town named 'Moye' in Southern France(before the 14th century it was part of Spain).
Many Moye's left Spain and France during the early 1400's and ventured to Germany, Denmark, England & Ireland. Most of this migration took place due to wars between France & England. The name Moye entered Ireland in the late 1400's after having passed through Germany, and as a result many Germanic features can be found in their descendants. The history of Moye's in the America's is pretty well documented so I won't go into that.
Hope this helped.