Having had my DNA tested it’s been interesting to find that there are two names that appear 12 times in my matches at 25 markers. Now this doesn’t mean we are closely related, in fact the estimate is that we shared an ancestor some time beyond 24 generations and the likelihood is that it is prior to the times when people adopted surnames – i.e. some time in the first millenium.
Those two names are Sinclair/St Clair and Grissom/Gresham. Interestingly, both names have Norman roots. So assuming that my Joyce line is also of that Welsh/Norman origin, and admittedly that is yet to be determined, what can we say about those Joyce Norman origins.
Both the Battle Abbey and Falaise Roll name the companions of William the Conqueror who fought at the Battle of Hastings. Le sire de Jort also le Cil de Jort is named and is said to have been the first Joyce. But what else do we know of him?
Here is some further information from The History of the Norman People – Roman de Rou by Wace 1100-1175 – translation by Glyn S Burgess. The numbered entries are a compilation of the names that Wace mentions in his text and other information that has been found about them.
29. Courcy-sur-Dives (Calvados, a Falaise, c Mortreaux-Couliboeuf) +49
‘Cil de Corcie et cil de Jort/ I ont le jor maint home mort/…e li seneschals de Corcie’, III, vv, 8481-82, 8526.
Richard of Courcy, witness in the time of William 1 and tenant-in-chief in England (Reg., I, many attestations; DB, 159a; Loyd, Origins, p. 36; Green, Government, pp. 242-43)
49. Jort (Calvados, a. Falaise, c. Mortreaux-Coulibocuf) +29
‘cil de Corcie et cil de Jort / I ont le jor maint home mort’, III, vv. 8481-82.
Robert, son of Nigel, gave the church at Jort to Saint-Desir at Lisieux in 1049×58
(Faroux, n0. 140). Is he the same person as the Robert of Jort, who held Hoton (Leis.) from the king (DB, 236d)?
In discussing the Battle of Hastings Wace states –
“The vicomte; Lord of Thouars, did not display cowardice that day. Richard of Avranches was there and with him the lords of Victrie and of Lassy, of Vaudry and of Tracy; they were in the same company and struck the English impetuously, not fearing pike or ditch. They knocked down many men that day and killed many a good horse, and many of them were wounded. Hugh, the lord of Montfort, the lords of Epinay and of Port, of Courcy and of Jort killed many men that day…”
Don’t know if that means that de Montfort and the others fought with de Jort or whether it is just a note that they were at the battle
And from –
Cil de Jort – Jort is a commune near Conrei, arrondissement of Falaise. It had belonged to Lesceline, Countess of Eu, but no possessor of it in 1066 is known to French antiquaries. It was probably held by some under the de Courcis of that day, as they are named together “Cil de Courci e Cil de Jort.”
So we have a mention of Robert de Jort, presumably the same Robert mentioned later in the Domesday book as being at Burton Joyce in Nottingham and a connection to the de Courci family.
More work to be done, starting with whether there are any connections between the Sinclairs and De Courcis.