Origins Available: English
Early Origins of the Defoy family
The surname Defoy was first found in Suffolk
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. However, for two centuries after the Battle of Hastings many adventurer knights crossed the Channel and claimed domains in England
. This family name was found in Suffolk
where John LeFoie held domains in 1212. This rare name is derived from St.Foy.
Early History of the Defoy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Defoy research.Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1327 and 1359 are included under the topic Early Defoy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Defoy Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Foy, St.Foy, LeFoy, DelaFoy, DeFoy, LeFoye, Foie and others.
Early Notables of the Defoy family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Defoy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Defoy family to Ireland
Some of the Defoy family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 185 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Defoy family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Defoy Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
- Louis Defoy, who was married in 1696 in Quebec
Defoy Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Charles Defoy was married in 1718 in St-Augustin
- Antoine Defoy was married in 1783 in St-Augustin
- Etienne Defoy was married in 1787 in the same town