This interesting and unusual name is a variant of the surname Byas, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for a 'dweller at the house in the bend'. The surname is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'byge', a bend, and 'hus', a house. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names. The modern surname can be found as Byas(s), Bice and Byce. The arms granted to one Robert Bice, who was Sheriff of Dublin in 1569, consisted of a shield, quartered diagonally gold and blue, with a red rose, with the stalk torn from the original stem, in the first and fourth quarters, and a gold fleur-de-lis in the second and third quarters. The crest is a falcon preying on a partridge. The christening was recorded in London of one John, son of Daniel and Catherine Bice, on October 9th 1681 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Byus, which was dated 1275, Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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