This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a place called "Quy" in Cambridgeshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, as "Coeia" and in the Fine Court Rolls of the County (1261) as "Queye". The component elements are the Olde English pre 7th Century "cu" meaning cow plus "eg" an island or a piece of land situated on a stream or between streams. The surname is first recorded in the mid 16th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Quise, Quy, Quoy, Quie, Qui, Quye, etc.. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include; John Que, who married Joan Whiskin, on November 20th 1564, at Horseheath, Cambridgeshire; on May 4th 1589, Thomas Quye married Marie Basforth, at Bartlow, Cambridgeshire; Joane, daughter of Thomas Quye, was christened on January 7th 1589, in the same place; and Catherine, daughter of John Wuye, was christened on February 13th 1597, at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Quy, which was dated June 27th 1563, witness at christening, in the Church of St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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