GOSS families descend from Thomas de Jorse a 13th century Cambro-Norman settler from Wales, who came to County Galway and settled there. He is reputed to be the progenitor of the Joyce families, numerous in Connacht. The stronghold of the Joyce families was in Ross barony, County Galway, commonly known as Joyce's county. Early records of the name mention Goce Fitz-Peter, Sherif of London in 1211. Josse Shepherd, was recorded in the year of 1273 in Ireland. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. An notable bearer of the name was James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882-1941) the Irish writer born in Dublin. He was a linguist and voracious reader. In 1922 he published 'Ulysses' in Paris, and it was not published in the United Kingdom until 1936, although now it is regarded as a epochal, a great leap forward for fiction. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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