This unusual name is one of the diminutive forms of the surname "Joseph", which derives from the Hebrew given name, Joseph, from "Yosef", translating as "may Jehovah add (another son)". In England the personal name occurred very occasionally before the Norman Conquest, as the name of a cleric, and is recorded in its Latinized form, Josephus, in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name was usually given in honour of St. Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary, and Joseph of Arimathea, who was believed to have buried Jesus, and whom legend connects with Glastonbury and the Holy Grail, although it was not particularly popular until the 16th Century. A number of modern surnames derive from the personal name "Joseph", among them Jessop, Jessup, and the diminutive forms Joe, Josey, Jess, Jesse, Jessel and Jessett. The marriage of Robert Josey and Annes Potter was recorded at St. Giles, Cripplegate, on July 6th 1589. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Joseph, which was dated 1191, The Hampshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1, "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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