This most interesting surname is of French origin and is the Anglicization of a locational name from Montjoie in La Manche Normandy, France. Although the first recording is in the early 13th Century, it is quite likely that the name was introduced into Britain with the Conquest of 1066. The derivation is from the French "mont", a mountain, with "joie", joy. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1219 (see below) Elias Muifoye (1243, Assize Rolls of Somerset), Robert de Mountgay, or Mungay (13th Century Lancashire), John Mountjoye (1307, Assize rolls of Staffordshire), Katherine Mountjoy (1593, London). Other variant spelling include, Monjoy, and Mountioy(e). Among the early sample recordings in London is the marriage of William Mountjoy and Dorothy Seldive on July 4th 1638 at St. Bololph, Bishopgate and the christening of Cardus Mountjoy on April 16th 1701 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Montgoye, which was dated 1219, Assize Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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