Show ContentsJoe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Joe is an ancient Anglo-Saxon surname that came from the baptismal name for the son of Joseph.

"Many of the modern directory Josephs are of Jewish extraction, but there are also a fair number of Josephs who have a purely English descent." [1]

Early Origins of the Joe family

The surname Joe was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form Josephus was recorded. [2] Later in Norfolk, Joseph (no forename) was listed at Holme (1141-1149) and later in Lincolnshire in 1187. In Herefordshire, Umfridus filius Josep was found there in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1205 and then William Joseph was entered in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1191 and in the Curia Regis Rolls for Suffolk in 1205. [3]

Joseph of Exeter, in Latin Joseph Iscanus (fl. 1190), was a mediæval "Latin poet, was, as he tells us himself, a native of Exeter, being the fellow-townsman and lifelong friend of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury." [4]

Early History of the Joe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Joe research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1205, 1273, 1754, 1764, 1784, 1788, 1790, 1792, 1797, 1811, 1812, 1813, 1815, 1846 and 1850 are included under the topic Early Joe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Joe Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Joe has been recorded under many different variations, including Joseph, Josephs, Josephson and others.

Early Notables of the Joe family

Distinguished members of the family include George Francis Joseph (1764-1846), Irish painter. He is said to be a native of Dublin, was born 25 Nov. 1764. He became a student at the Royal Academy in 1784, and in 1792 gained the gold medal for a 'Scene from Coriolanus.' He sent his first contribution to the Academy in 1788, and became a constant exhibitor both there and at the British Institution. In 1797 he painted 'Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse.' In 1811 the directors of the British Institution awarded him one-third of their combined premiums of 350 guineas for his 'Return...
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Joe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Joe World Ranking

In the United States, the name Joe is the 3,687th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [5] However, in France, the name Joe is ranked the 4,418th most popular surname with an estimated 1,500 - 2,000 people with that name. [6] And in New Zealand, the name Joe is the 738th popular surname with an estimated 979 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Joe family to Ireland

Some of the Joe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 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 Joe family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Joe or a variant listed above: one Joseph who sailed to Nantasket, Massachusetts in 1630; Tobias Joseph to South Carolina in 1741; Captain Joseph to Boston in 1768; Henry Joseph to America in 1772 and M. Joseph to San Francisco in 1851..

Contemporary Notables of the name Joe (post 1700) +

  • Mendelson Joe (1944-2023), born Birrel Josef Mendelson, a Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, painter, and political activist
  • Joseph "Joe" Shuster Joe (1914-1992), Canadian comic book artist, best known for co-creating the DC Comics character Superman
  • Michael Joe Cosgrave (1938-2022), Irish Fine Gael politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1977 to 1992 and 1997 to 2002
  • Billy Joe Maxwell (1929-2021), American professional PGA golfer who had 10 professional wins
  • Billy Joe Shaver (1939-2020), American Texas country music singer and songwriter
  • John Joe Sheehan (1929-2020), Irish Gaelic footballer for Kerry (1949-1955)
  • Bobby Joe Morrow (1935-2020), American sprinter who won three gold medals at the 1956 Olympics
  • Challace Joe McMillin (1942-2020), American former football player and the first head coach of James Madison University's football program (1972-1984)
  • Mr. Harry Joe Pilcher M.V.O., British Major and Equerry to the Prince of Wales, was appointed the Member of the Royal Victorian Order on 8th June 2018 [8]
  • Tony Joe White (1943-2018), American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie" and for "Rainy Night in Georgia"

The Joe Motto +

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: Cas ni charo y wlad a'i mago
Motto Translation: Loathed be he that loveth not his native land

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. "Most Common Last Names in New Zealand." Forebears,
  8. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook