This unusual and interesting surname is a peculiarly Cornish form of the personal name "George", itself coming from a Greek given name "Georgios", from "georgos" meaning farmer, a compound of "ge" earth, soil and "ergein" to work, till. The personal name appeared in England before the Norman Conquest, but its popularity increased at the time of the Crusades, which brought greater contact with the Orthodox Church, in which there was a thriving cult of an obscure saint of this name, supposedly martyred at Nicomedia in A.D., 303.In 1348 Edward 111 founded the Order of the Garter under the patronage of St. George, and in 1415 his day was made a festival of the highest rank. By the end of the Middle Ages he had acquired an entirely unhistorical legend of dragon-slaying exploits, which caught the popular imagination throughout Europe, and was considered the patron saint of England. Cornish Church Records list the christenings of Jone, daughter of William Jorye, on the 27th November 1557 in Pillaton, and John, son of John Jory, on the 11th October 1588 in Landrake. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Waltrus Jorye, which was dated November 30th 1544, witness to the christening of his son Waltrus Landulph, Cornwall, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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