I am currently working together with my grandfather on tracing down
the roots of my family name (Joys) and my ancestors. My primary focus
right now is the origins and background of those who first carried
Various sources claim that Thomas de Jorse, who fled from Wales around
1282, is the first to carry the family name. One source says that:
"According to Hardiman, and J. Anderson Black, the first Joyce of
record to enter Southern Ireland was Thomas de Jorse or Joyce, a
Welshman. He entered the territory in the 13th century between
1250-1299, and married the daughter of O'Brien, Prince of Thomond, who
was one of the most powerful princes of Ireland. After his marriage,
he crossed the Galway Bay and went into West Connacht and there
settled in the mountainous region between the present County Galway
and County Mayo. Although the family was at first tributary to the
O'Flahertys, they soon became established in their own right. They
adopted the native Irish custom of having a Chief of the Name and the
territory they inhabited became known as Duthaigh Seoghach, or Joyce's
Country, now forming the Barony of Ross, in County Galway, where they
are still numerous."
Most of the other sources I have found online mostly tell the same
story in slightly different ways, without really giving much more
information about who Thomas de Jorse really was.
What I want to know is:
- Who exactly was Thomas de Jorse? What was his position in the Welsh
society? Who were his parents, grandparents and other relatives? Where
was his family from?
- What was Thomas' relation to the Welsh royal family, to Llywelyn ap
Gruffudd, defated by Edward I of England in 1282? Was he part of the
royal family, a close ally fleeing the country with them, or some
random guy who happened to move to Ireland at the same time as the
English invasion of Wales?
Thanks in advance for any answers and clues.