This German, French, English, Catalan, Polish, Czech and Danish surname of YOSS was from a given name of the spelling JUST, and rendered in ancient documents in the Latin form JUSTUS, meaning 'honourable and upright'. There were several early saints of the name JUST including a 4th century bishop of Lyons and a 6th century bishop of Urgell and Catalonia. It was also from the vernacular form of the Hebrew male given name of YEHUDA, JUDAH (of unknown meaning) the name of Jacob's eldest son. This was not a popular name among Christians in medieval Europe because of the associations it had with JIdas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver. St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles, probably the Judas who was one of the 'brethren' of the Lord (Matthew XIII) perhaps a brother of St. James 'the Just'. According to tradition he was martyred in Persia. His feast day is the 28th October. The Epistle of Jude in the New Testament was placed among the 'Antilegomena' or disputed books, by the primitive church. Many critics hold that it is directed against the Gnostics of the 2nd century. Among Jews, however the Hebrew given name and its reflexes in various Jewish languages (such as Yude) have been popular for generations. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. The name has many variant spellings which include YUSTEN, JUSTENS, JUXEN, JUST, JUSTE, JUT, JUX, YUSTER, GIUSTO (Italian), JUSTO, YUSTE (Spanish), JUTEL, JUTEAU, JUTOT (French) and JUSTESEN (Flemish and Danish). During the early 1800's many Germans emigrated to the New World and on September 12th, 1872, a Mr WENTZ was married to Miss Louisa A. YOST, born in 1851, a daughter of Charles J. YOST and sister of Dr. John F. YOST, to this marriage were born three children.
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