Recorded in several spellings including Joy, Joie, Joye, Joyes, and the dialectals Goy, Goye, and Goys, this is an English surname. However it derives from the Old French word "joie" meaning joy, and was originally given as either a baptismal name of endearment or as a nickname to a joyous or cheerful person. Surnames from personal names are one of the largest of all European surname groupings, whilst surnames from nicknames is similarly a popular origin. In this case the original recordings show that this is one of the oldest of all surnames with Manser Joie being recorded in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire" in 1186 and Elena Joye in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire"in 1273. In 1472 Godfrey Joye, the alderman of Norwich, died, whilst Anne Mont Joy married Edward Wilberfosse on August 21st 1586 at St. Mary le Bow, in the city of London, and Thomas Goys was christened at St Peters Cornhill, on October 17th 1553, and John Goy at St James Clerkenwell on June 18th 1666. Francis Joy (1697 - 1790) was a notable printer and founder of the "Belfast Newsletter" in 1737. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lefwin Joie. This was dated 1166, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. 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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