What’s in a name?
"What name, sir?" enquired the polite assistant."Joyes. J-
The assistant quickly wrote the name on the Order Form: Joyce.
"No," I interrupted. "J-
She looked at what she had written and made a correction by interposing a 'c' between the 'y' and the 'e'.
It now read Joyces.
"No," I tried again "J-
The attentive assistant looked hard again at the name she had written. A further amendment was made so that the name was now written as Joys. At least one could accept that as a variant. However, in the circumstances there was need for accuracy.
With a sense of honest resignation to failure, the young lady turned the Order Form round and said "You write it, please."
The situation revealed the reliance that we place upon the known to provide us with a model for future action. It also reveals the tendency to override what we hear with that which is stored in the memory. Amendment of the taken-
When those amongst our forebears who did not have the advantage of literacy went to the local vicar or curate to announce a birth, or a death, or to seek a marriage, the local incumbent would have experienced a similar situation as that which confronted our friendly shop assistant, except that there was no one to correct what he wrote. He, too, would have drawn upon his memory of what had gone before and would, therefore, have perpetuated any errors that had occurred. Add to this the accents employed naturally by those who sought the incumbent's attention and one begins to understand the way in which variations of a name so easily occur, even within the same family. Variants of the name Joyes are several, but perhaps one can eliminate one spelling which is often taken to be a variant, but which is probably of different origin. The reference here is to the name which was first written by our shop assistant, for it is by far the most common: Joyce. The International Genealogical Index (IGI) has unfortunately served to maintain the Joyes/Joyce equivalence by listing Joyes under Joyce.
It is argued by many that Joyes has Irish origins in Galway, where the name is used interchangeably by some commentators with Joyce, although it is more usually found in the Joyce form. One wonders if the soft Irish accent has lulled those commentators -
There is, on the other hand, documented evidence offered by Reaney, P.H., in his work The Origins of English Surnames (RK&P, London, 1967). Here (pp. 33 and 149) he does not give Joyce and Joyes as having identical derivations. Joyce is noted, along with Josse, Joysey and Jowsey (with the significant absence of Joyes), as being derived from Old Breton Jodoc, a saint, the son of Judicael, who had a hermitage at the modern Josse-
Interestingly, there is seated at Campagnac, in the Aveyron, France, a Joyes family that dates itself back to the Hundred Years' War. The legend suggests that an English soldier remained in France and began the dynasty, but that is unsubstantiated and must remain in the realms of mythology. The French Joyes have, nevertheless, grown and spread, although most of its members reside within a 35 kilometre reach of the family's noted origin. One member who has moved north is Claire Joyes, who married the great-
As well as detailing the major families, Joyes research is littered with brief family trees that must surely link into the main arteries at some point, but exactly where is ever elusive. One interesting family seems to arise in the Croydon area. Croydon, like Reigate, was an area through which Joyes groups seemed to pass as they progressed northwards to the Thames and beyond in a population drift, which was no doubt forced by the seeking of employment. A particular Joyes person of Croydon served in the army in the Boer Wars and was apparently known to Churchill during the conflict. Subsequently, he emigrated to Ontario and became the proud owner of a newly invented farming machine. A mechanical wizard, he was in great demand from other farmers, especially those of Norwegian decent, probably because he had married one of their number. His descendants moved over the border into Montana, where they continue to own land. One, however, has moved back to Toronto, where he is an archivist.
Perhaps, in conclusion, the writer might be allowed a personal story that, nevertheless, demonstrates the lack of liaison between the various Joyes lines. Elsewhere on this Website will be found reference to A.E. Joyes' retail outlet in Grays, Essex. The Joyes sales slogan, "When the sheets are short, the bed seems longer", was used somewhat differently by my father as a saying to suggest difficulties of domestic cashflow. The important point, though, is that my father had no knowledge of A.E. Joyes' store and the latter's use of the slogan. Two members of different strands of the Joyes clan shared independently the same slogan. Does this indicate a wider family common knowledge, a residual memory of an earlier social intercourse?
There is mention of one Peggy Joyes, who used before WW2 to frequent (with her mother) the Joyes store in Grays. Peggy is the writer's sister-
To contact Terry click on following link e-
© www.joyes.co.uk All rights reserved
web design by jonjay
Joyes Department Store, New Road Grays c1970