Recorded as Noy, Noyce, Noyse, Noice, Noyes, Nice, Nicey, and probably others, this is an English medieval surname. However spelt it is a patronymic form of the biblical male given name Noah from the word "noach" meaning long-lived. The are two possible origins for the surname. The first is as an Introduction into Europe by the returning Crusaders knights of the 12th century, fresh from their many attempts to rescue the city of Jerusalem from the hands of the Muslims. It became the fashion for these returning warriors to christen their subsequent children with biblical or hebrew names, which later developed into surnames. The second possibity is the name of an actor who played the part of Noah in the medieval miracle plays based on the story of Noah and his ark. The forename is first recorded as Noe in the Staffordshire Chartulary of the year 1125, whilst the surname is well recorded in the surviving London church registers from the Elizabethan times. These recordings include Alice Noyes, who married an Edmund Holmes at the church of St. Katherine by the Tower (of London) on June 16th 1661, Richard Noice, who was christened at St Peter-le-Poer, on July 5th 1730, Abby Nussey, christened at St Andrews Holborn on March 12th 1758, and Robert Nassie recorded at Westminster Crown Coiurt, on July 17th 1796.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon Noysse. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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