Joys History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Joys is derived from the personal names Josse or Goce. The name Joys is derived from the Latin word "gaudere" and is cognate in origin with the words joy and joyous. The personal names Josse and Goce were made popular by St. Josse the Hermit, who refused the sovereignty of Brittany. Joyce was used primarily as a female personal name, although some of the earlier instances were masculine. The Gaelic form of the surname Joys is Seoigh.

Early Origins of the Joys family

The surname Joys was first found in Glamorganshire (Welsh: Sir Forgannwg), a region of South Wales, anciently part of the Welsh kingdom of Glywysing.

However, the Welsh origin is very much overshadowed by the Irish predominance of the name in later years. In Ireland, the family was "of Welsh origin which became completely hibernicized; their territory was called Joyce's country. They also became one of the 'Tribes Of Galway' " [1]

Perhaps an exploration of one of the earliest entries for the name will assist. Thomas Jorz or Joyce, also called Thomas the Englishman (d. 1310), was an English "cardinal, is said to have been born of a good family in London, although he was perhaps, as has been sometimes suggested, a Welshman by descent. He was one of six brothers, who all entered the Dominican order. Two of them, Walter and Roland, were successively Archbishops of Armagh [Ireland]. " [2]

Walter Jorz or Jorse (fl. 1306), "Archbishop of Armagh, was a Dominican of Oxford. Like Thomas Jorz [q. v.], his brother, he is doubtfully said to have been a disciple of Albertus Magnus, and a fellow-student with Thomas Aquinas." [2]

Early History of the Joys family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Joys research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1172, 1487, 1647, 1647 and 1647 are included under the topic Early Joys History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Joys Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations. The many versions of the name Joys to have been recorded over the years include: Joyce, Joyes, Joy, Joice and others.

Early Notables of the Joys family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Cornet George Joyce (fl. 1647), an officer in the Parliamentary New Model Army during the English Civil War. He is said to have been originally a tailor in London. He entered the army of the eastern association, appears to have served in Cromwell's regiment, and was in 1647 a cornet in the horse regiment of Sir Thomas Fairfax. When the quarrel between the army and...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Joys Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Joys migration to Australia +

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

Joys Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Joys, British Convict who was convicted in Oxford, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land)1836 [3]
  • Lucy Joys, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Candahar" in 1851 [4]


The Joys 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: Mors aut honorabilis vita
Motto Translation: Death, or life with honour.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CANDAHAR 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Candahar.htm


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