This rare and interesting name has its origins in the Hebrew male given name "Noach", more familiar as "Noah", and believed to mean "long-lived". Although the personal name was not particularly popular in Medieval Europe, the biblical story of Noah and his ark was a perennial favourite in the many pageants and miracle plays of the Middle Ages. The modern surname is therefore likely to derive from a nickname given to someone who had played the part of Noah in a play. There are a number of variant forms of the surname, including the English patronymic forms Noyes, Noyce, Noise and Noice (son of Noah), and the modern names Nouch, Noutch and Knoch are the result of the influence of these native forms on the Flemish surname "Noach", also a variant of "Noah", which was introduced into England by Flemish Huguenot refugees during the late 16th Century. The marriage of Ann Nouch and Anthony Riley was recorded at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London, on October 16th 1662. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Noysse, which was dated 1327, The Suffolk Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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