Boyce History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Boyce is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. 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. The name Boyce is derived from the Old French word "bois," which means "wood," and indicates that the original bearer lived near a wooded area, such as a forest. [1]

Early Origins of the Boyce family

The surname Boyce was first found in various parts of Scotland including Hugo Delboys who witnessed a confirmation charter by Hugh, Bishop of St. Andrews c. 1185-1188 according to the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae. A few years later, Richard del Bois witnessed a confirmation charter of fishery in Torduf between 1194 and 1211. [2]

About the same time, Walterus de Bosco witnessed a charter by Robert the Bruce c. 1190. Robert Boys was listed in Dumfriesshire c. 1259. Willelmus de Bosch or de Bosco, cancellarius domini regis, appears frequently as witness in the chartularies of Soltre, Glasgow, Kelso, Brechin, and Arnbroath between 1189-1222. Gaufridus de Bosco, Humphrey de Bosco, and Thomas de Bosco appear as charter witnesses between 1215-1245. Robert Boys is recorded in Dumfriesshire, c. 1259. [2]

The Scottish branch of this ancient Norman family likely moved north from England to their first place of landing and settlement after the Conquest, as many of the earliest records of the family in Scotland were almost 100 years later. By example, Robert de Bois held estates in Buckinghamshire in 1086. The De Bois-Herbert family were barons of Halberton, Devon c. 1050.[3]

"Sir Humphrey de Bois, of Dryfesdale, who was slain at Lochmaben in 1333, is supposed by Dalrymple to have been the ancestor of Hector Boece, the historian." [4]

Early History of the Boyce family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boyce research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1150, 1296, 1413, 1719, 1465, 1536, 1543, 1594, 1543, 1594 and are included under the topic Early Boyce History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Boyce Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Boyce, Boyes, Boze, Bois, Boise, Boice, Boas, Bost, Bust, Boast, Boost and many more.

Early Notables of the Boyce family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Hector Boece (sometimes spelt Boethius, or Boyce) (1465-1536), a Scottish philosopher and first Principal of King's College in Aberdeen. John Boste or Boaste (1543?-1594), was and English Catholic priest, "born of a good family at Dufton, in Westmorland, in or about 1543, and educated at Oxford. He was imprisoned in the Tower, where he was 'often most cruelly rack'd, insomuch that he was afterwards forced to go crooked upon a staff.' When he had so far recovered as to be fit to travel, he was sent back to the north, and...
Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boyce Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Boyce World Ranking

In the United States, the name Boyce is the 1,046th most popular surname with an estimated 29,844 people with that name. [5] However, in Australia, the name Boyce is ranked the 895th most popular surname with an estimated 4,382 people with that name. [6] And in New Zealand, the name Boyce is the 498th popular surname with an estimated 1,372 people with that name. [7] The United Kingdom ranks Boyce as 861st with 7,890 people. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Boyce family to Ireland

Some of the Boyce family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Boyce migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Boyce Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Chyna Boyce, who landed in Virginia in 1617 [9]
  • Allice Boyce, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [9]
  • Hannah Boyce, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Mr. Christopher Boyce, (b. 1597), aged 38, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Constance" arriving in Virginia in 1635 [10]
  • Chri Boyce, aged 38, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Boyce Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Boyce, who arrived in Virginia in 1711 [9]
  • Geo Boyce, who landed in Virginia in 1716 [9]
  • Ann Boyce, who arrived in Virginia in 1728 [9]
  • James Boyce, who arrived in America in 1765 [9]
  • Jannet Boyce, aged 16, who landed in New York in 1774 [9]
Boyce Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Boyce, who arrived in New York in 1810 [9]
  • John A Boyce, aged 24, who landed in New York in 1812 [9]
  • Joseph Boyce, who arrived in Louisiana in 1813 [9]
  • Anne Boyce, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [9]
  • Henry Boyce, aged 25, who landed in America in 1821 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Boyce migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Boyce Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Boyce, who settled in Carbonear in 1709
  • Mr. Jehoida Boyce, "Jehadda" U.E. (b. 1759) born in Dutchess County, New York, USA from Schaghticoke & Saratoga, Albany County, New York, USA who settled in Elizabeth Town [Elizabethtown], Leeds County, Ontario c. 1783 married to Millicent Keeler they had 12 children he died in 1835 [11]
  • Mr. John Boyce U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [11]
  • Mr. John Boyce, aka "Heirs" U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [11]
  • Mr. Stephen Boyce U.E. who settled in Ernestown, Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1783 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Boyce Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Boyce, who settled in Harbour Grace in 1834
  • Mr. John Boyce, aged 21 who was a Seaman aboard the ship "Scotland" taking passenger to Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died at Grosse Isle on 6th June 1847 in the typhus epidemic [12]
  • John and William Boyce, who settled in Harbour Breton in 1871

Australia Boyce migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Boyce Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Boyce, British convict who was convicted in Thetford, Norfolk, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Thomas Boyce, who arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1837 [14]
  • John Boyce, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Surrey" in 1838 [15]
  • Benjamin Boyce, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [16]
  • Thomas Boyce, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Agincourt" on July 6, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Boyce migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Boyce Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Boyce, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th December 1851 [18]
  • William Boyce, aged 26, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • Ellen Boyce, aged 21, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1855
  • Miss Elizabeth Ann Boyce, (b. 1859), aged Infant, Irish settler from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 [19]
  • Mrs. Sarah Boyce, (b. 1832), aged 27, Irish settler from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Boyce migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [20]
Boyce Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Frances Boyce, who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1634
  • Francis Boyce, aged 25, who arrived in St Christopher in 1634 [9]
  • Joseph Boyce, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Mr. Joseph Boyce, (b. 1611), aged 24, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [21]

Contemporary Notables of the name Boyce (post 1700) +

  • Cameron Boyce (1999-2019), American actor in films and television shows, best known for his work with Disney
  • Kim Boyce (b. 1961), American gospel singer
  • Second Lieutenant George W g Boyce Jr., American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Edward J. Boyce, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 11th District, 1904 [22]
  • Dorothy Boyce, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1960 [22]
  • Donald Boyce, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1944, 1948 (alternate), 1952 (alternate), 1956 [22]
  • Charles Meredith Boyce, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate in primary for Maryland state comptroller, 1966 [22]
  • Carolyn Boyce, American politician, Representative from Pennsylvania 8th District, 1998 [22]
  • Carolyn Boyce, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Idaho, 1996, 2000, 2004; Member of Democratic National Committee from Idaho, 2004 [22]
  • Billy D. Boyce, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2000 [22]
  • ... (Another 40 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. David G Boyce, British Musician, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [23]


Suggested Readings for the name Boyce +

  • Boyce Family History by E. Daniel Boyce.
  • The Genealogical Record of One Branch of the Boyce Family in America by Earnest Boyce.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  9. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  10. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 5th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  11. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  12. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 62)
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1831
  14. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) KATHERINE STEWART FORBES 1837 arrived Holdfast Bay, near Adelaide, on October 17, 1837. . Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837KatherineStewartForbes.htm
  15. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SURRY/SURREY 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Surry-Surrey.htm
  16. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MOFFATT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Moffatt.htm
  17. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Agincourt voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 226 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agincourt/1844
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  20. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  21. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  22. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  23. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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