This unusual and interesting name is one of the variant forms of the more familiar name Joyce, which is of English and Irish origin and derives from the Breton (Celtic) personal name "Iodoc", a diminutive of "iudh", lord. The name was introduced into England by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of 1066 in the form "Josse". Ioduc was the name of a Breton prince and saint, the brother of Iudicael, the king of Brittany, who abdicated and spent the last part of his life in a monastery, and whose name has become "Jekyll" as a modern surname.Ioduc had a hermitage at the modern St. Josse-sur-Mer, and his fame helped to spread the name throughout France and England. As a personal name, Joyce was borne almost exclusively by men during the Middle Ages. The modern surname can be found recorded as Joyce, Joice, Joisce, Joss, Josse, Joicey, Joysey and Jowsey. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of William Herailes and Jane Jowsey at Westminster, in 1618. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Jose, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of London", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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