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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Boyt family come from? What is the English Boyt family crest and coat of arms? When did the Boyt family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Boyt family history?

The illustrious surname Boyt is classified as a habitation surname, which was originally derived from a place-name, and is one form of surname belonging to a broader group called hereditary surnames. Habitation names were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Topographic names, form the other broad category of surnames that was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Boyt is a place-name from in England from early times. But the name arrived from Brittany about the time of the Norman Conquest. As the story goes, Alan, Baron of Oswestry arrived from Dol in Brittany with his three sons, William, Walter, and Simon. Walter, Simon and Simon's son Robert Buidhe moved north to Scotland. It is thought that the as the son's hair was blond his name was so coined. In fact, the Gaelic word buidhe, means yellow.

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Since the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules, Breton surnames have many spelling variations. Latin and French, which were the official court languages, were also influential on the spelling of surnames. The spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. Therefore, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England after the Norman Conquest, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. The name has been spelled Boyd, Boyde, Boid, Boyt, McElwee and others.

First found in Shropshire where Alan, Baron of Oswestry (c. 1078- c. 1114) arrived from Dol in Brittany with his three sons, William, Walter, and Simon. Walter moved north to Scotland and became scion of the first Royal Stewart house of Scotland. Simon followed and his son being blond was named Robert Buidhe which was eventually to become Boyd. The Stewarts granted their cousins, the Boyds, extensive lands in Scotland.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boyt research. Another 285 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1263, 1306, 1460, 1467, 1549, 1550, 1580, 1646, 1661, 1692, 1704, and 1746 are included under the topic Early Boyt History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Boyt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Boyt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Boyt, or a variant listed above: Alexander Boyd who settled in New England in 1748; Andrew, Benjamin, Cornelius, Daniel, Francis, George, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Margaret, Robert, Samuel, Thomas, and William Boyd, all arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1870. In Newfoundland, Peter Boyd settled in Conception Bay in 1706.

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  • Susie Boyt (b. 1969), British novelist, great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Confido
Motto Translation: I confide.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...

The Boyt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Boyt Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 September 2013 at 09:17.

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