The surname of NOYES was a locational name 'of Noyers' a spot in France. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Most of the place-names that yield surnames are usually of small communities, villages, hamlets, some so insignificant that they are now lost to the map. A place-name, it is reasonable to suppose, was a useful surname only when a man moved from his place of origin to elsewhere, and his new neighbours bestowed it, or he himself adopted it. The name was the vernacular form of the Hebrew male given name Noah, which is said to mean 'Long-lived'. According to the Book of Genesis, Noah, having been forewarned by God, built an ark into which he took his family and representatives of every species of animal, and so was saved from the flood that God sent to destroy the world because of human wickedness. The given name was not common among non-Jews in the Middles Ages, but the biblical story was an extremely popular subject for miracle plays. In most cases, therefore, the surname probably derives from a nickname referring to someone who had played the part of Noah in a miracle play or pageant rather than from a given name. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Rogert de Nuiers, 1199, County Norfolk. Alexander de Nowers was recorded in the year 1230 in County Warwickshire. William Simon Noysse was documented in 1327 in County Suffolk.
A notable member of the name was Alfred Noyes (1880-1958) the English poet, born in Staffordshire. He began writing verse as an undergraduate as Oxford, and on the strength of getting a volume published in his final year he left without taking a degree. This book 'The Loom of Years' (1902) was followed by others which attracted notice. He published literary essays, and also wrote plays and studies of William Morris and Voltaire.
The name has many variant spellings which include Noar, Over and Ower.
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