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The Maryland Joyce Project

In one of its many forms---Joyce, Joice, Joyes, Joys, Joce---the Joyce family name appeared in Maryland as early as the 1620s.

This site does not attempt to document every Joyce who ever lived in Maryland. It lists several recent generations of them, and traces their Maryland ancestry as far as extant documents show.


Start With The Index

If you don't know where to start, try the Project's Index. Each family member's page in this site has several links, including a "Previous Generation" link, to go back, and links to descendents, if any, to go forward.


Background: Joyce, Joice, Joyes, Joys, Joce

JOYCE Surname

Arms: Argent, an eagle displayed gules charged on the breast with a bar gemel ermine. (a bar gemel is a pair of bars, twin bars.)

Crest: A demi-wolf ducally gorged proper.


Motto: None recorded. The arms antedates the common use of mottos.

Authority: Burke’s “General Armory,” 1878 edition, page 550.

Tinctures as shown by description: The shield is silver, the eagle is red. The bars are ermine (white with black ermine spots). The demi-wolf is natural. The ducal coronet is gold.

Notes: The family of Joyce was of Norman-English origin, the name originally de Jortz, also written de Jorse. The English ancestor was Robert de Jortz, Lord of Burton, in Nottinghamshire, England, who lived in the reign of Henry II. The last of the family of the English line was William de Joyce, of Burton-Joyce, who died without issue in the reign of Henry VI. Of this family, however, was Thomas de Jorse who resided in Wales and who had become allied with the Welsh. He had two brothers, Walter and Roland de Jorse. When Wales was taken by Edward I (1274-1307) Thomas fled by sea to Ireland with his fleet. Here he married Norah, daughter of Turlough O’Brien, Prince of Thomond. From here he sailed to Galway and settled.

His son, was born at sea, and was called “Mac Mara,” meaning “son of the sea, but was later known as Edmond Joyce. In Galway Thomas de Jorse obtained large grants of land, and his son added to these.

The family became very powerful in Galway and Mayo, and later became part of the very powerful “Thirteen Royal Tribes of Galway” which included the families of Martin, French, Kirwan, Lynch, Bodkin, and others.

The family is still very numerous in the north and west of Ireland. Some lines in Ireland now spell the name Joyce, Joice, and Joys.

A second arms was sometimes used: Argent, three torteaux in bend between two bendlets gules. Crest: A demi-chevalier in armour and brandishing a scimitar all proper. Both arms are authentic.

Signed: George C. Martin of the firm Martin & Allardyce, of San Antonio, Texas, who took oath that the insignia above described appears in the published authority above mentioned. 19th Day of July, 1951.


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