This is an English medieval surname. Recorded as Josh, Joss, Goss, Goce, and others, it may derive from the Crusader name of Hebrew origins "Joshua", but this is thought to be unlikely. All the early records indicate that the name derives from the French personal name "Joscelin", brought to England by the Norman-French after the famous Conquest of England in 1066. Jocelin is a diminutive of the pre 7th century Breton saint known as Josse, so the medieval English surname is in effect a reversion to a former spelling. The surname development and recordings include the following recordings - William Josse of Sussex in the year 1327, and Richard Goce of Suffolk in 1340. The later development of the surname is complicated by Huguenot introduction in the 17th century. These include Dannel Josez, at the French church, Threadneedle Street, in the city of London, in 1627, whilst James Josh was a witness at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 7th 1715. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Joce. This was was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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