Last name: Roy

In the British Isles this surname is recorded as Le Roy, Leroy, Leroi, Le Roi, and Roy. It has at least two possible national origins. Firstly it may be Norman-French and introduced after the famous Conquest of 1066. The derivation is from the word rey or roi, meaning a king or chief, and in medieval times was used as a nickname either for one who behaved in a regal fashion, or who had earned the title in some contest of skill, or more likely had been elected "king for the day" in a local festival. It could also be used as a personal name as for example Roi de Scallebi listed in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1188. Secondly it could be of Gaelic and Scottish origins and if so a nickname for a person with red hair, from "ruadh", meaning red. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. Early examples of surname recordings include Adam le Roy in the Feet of Fines of Suffolk in 1268, and Simon Roy in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1279. Moritius Roy was witness in Perth during the reign of James 11nd of Scotland, and John Roy was sheriff of Inverness (1563). A coat of arms granted to the y family ghas the blazon of a blue shield charged with a silver lion rampant, on a silver border eight red torteaux. The Motto, "Qua tendis", translates as "Whither do you steer". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Raie. This was dated 1206, in the Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research www.surnamedb.com 1980 - 2014

Surname Scroll

Enjoy this name printed onto our colourful scroll, printed in Olde English script. An ideal gift. View Details.
PayPal Acceptance Mark
Surname Scroll
Share |

Emma Roy
My last name is Roy and my family and I live in Denmark but I got told that my family lived in the United States and Scotland in the 1800s.

Rubel Roy
Roy is also a common surname among the Hindu Bengalis of Indian subcontinent

john roy
as you can see my surnam is roy however l dont know my history all l know is my familly are scottish

bryan mercer
Fyi a lot of irish immigrant landed in montreal. That's would explain the abundance of irish surnames in quebec.

Emily Roy
Knowing your blood group can also help, I am English and live in England but my family have always suspected that we have Indian blood due to our surname 'Roy' and the English rule in India in the 18th century etc. We recently found out that my father has AB positive blood which is extremely rare in the white population and so must have been inherited through another race.

Semira Roy
That's interesting. I have always thought it's the other way around. I'm from Bangladesh which at some point in history used to be part of India. Though, my religion is Catholic and not Hindu and people with Roy or Rai surname in India usually are Hindu. Both my parents and their parents are Catholic. Now I'm really curious.

Sowrab Roy Chowdhury
Just for a note, Roy is also a common surname among the Hindu Bengalis of Indian subcontinent.

Fay Roy
My husband's name is Ian Rob Roy and in 1953 he gave me a ring with the Qua Tendis motto. We have 3 sons Andrew Rob Simon Rob and Philip Martin. Their grandfather was born in Leeds son of Andrew Rob of Scotland. Fay Roy Palmerston North NZ

michelle Roy-Walker
My maiden name is Roy. My father is French-Canadian from Quebec City.