This surname of QUY is of two-fold origin. It was originally derived from the Old French word 'quei', and written in early documents in the Latin form of 'quietus' meaning one who was quiet and still. When the name was brought into England, probably during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, it took the form 'coy' being one who was shy and modest. Early records of the name mention one Walter le Coi who was documented in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in the year 1296. The name may also have been a habitation name meaning 'one who came from Quy' a spot in Cambridgeshire. The name was documented in the Domesday Book of 1086 as COEIA (without surname) In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months The name occurs in 1273 as COUEYE (without surname) and is recorded in 1291 as QUEYE. The Old English spelling of CUWIC, literally meant the dweller on the cow-island. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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