This unusual and interesting name derives from the Old French personal name "Moise", introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The given name is derived from the name of the Israelite leader Moses in the Book of Exodus, who led the Israelites out of Egypt. The ultimate origin of the Hebrew form of the name, "Moshe", is believed to be Egyptian, and to be a short form of various theophoric personal names meaning "conceived by (a certain God)"; however, the name acquired early on a folk etymology connecting it to the Hebrew vocabulary word "msh", to draw (something from the water), referring to the story of the infant Moses being discovered among the bulrushes by Pharaoh's daughter. The personal name is recorded as "Moyses" in 1210, and as "Moys" in 1230, and the surname from this source can be found in the variant forms Moyses, Moyse, Moise, Moyce, Moyes (in Scotland), Moiser, Moizer and Moyser. One Nathaniell Moiser was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on May 28th 1590, and Mary and Dorethey, daughters of John Moizer, were christened at Foston by Malton, Yorkshire, on May 26th 1722 and November 21st 1731 respectively. One James Moyser was an early emigrant to the American colonies, leaving London on the "Bonaventure" in January 1634, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Moyse, which was dated 1274, in the "Hundred Rolls of Essex", 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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