Noyes Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Noyes Meaning
The English surname Noyes derived from the Biblical
name of Noah. Early spellings were Noy
and Noye. Noyes represented the
patronymic form.
The name may have been introduced by returning Crusaders from
the Holy Land who would christen their children with Biblical or Hebrew
names. Or perhaps the name derived from
an actor in a medieval pageant who played the part of Noah and his ark.

Noyes Resources on

Noyes Ancestry

England. Early origins of the name have been suggested in
Cornwall and in Suffolk in East Anglia:

  • the
    Noys of Cornwall
    came from St. Bunyan in the far west of the
    county where
    they had been minor gentry since the mid-1400’s. William
    Noy of this family rose to be
    Attorney General of England under Charles I in 1631.
    Noye has remained a surname in Cornwall.
  • while the Noyse name was to be found in
    parishes in the northern part of Suffolk at an earlier time. The Earl of Suffolk was the landowner there
    and at Ramridge in Hampshire
    the Noyes name was first recorded in 1432.

continued at Ramridge for more than two hundred years.

From this family came
Nicholas Noyes who had moved to Cholderton in Wiltshire by 1545. By that time there were two related
Noyes lines in Wiltshire, one at Cholderton and the other at Urchfont. The Rev. William Noyes, an
Anglican clergyman of Puritan leanings,

was appointed the rector of Cholderton in 1602.
Two of his sons – James and Nicholas –
him to the Puritan ministry in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Later Noyes in Wiltshire were to be found at
Burbage and Pewsey.

Noyes was born in Burbage in 1781. He
served in the 1st King’s Own Dragoon Guards between 1807 and 1817 and
fought at
the Battle of Waterloo. He then returned
to Burbage to be a butcher and died there in 1855.”

Also from Ramridge in
Hampshire came Peter Noyes, the MP for Andover in 1614, who moved to
where his family became established, first at Trunkwell and then at
among the Berkshire gentry. More than
one of them buttressed their finances by marrying heiresses.

These three counties – Hampshire, Wiltshire,
and Berkshire – remained the main places for Noyes in England.

America. Noyes
has been very much a New England name, coming from the Noyes of
Wiltshire who
arrived there in 1634.

New England.
Three Puritan preachers – the brothers James and Nicholas Noyes,
together with their cousin Thomas Parker – departed London on the Mary and John for the Massachusetts Bay
Colony. They established a new town and
church at Newbury in 1635. The James
Noyes House, built there around 1646 on Parker Street, still stands.

The Noyes lineage in America was covered in
Henry Noyes’ 1904 book Genealogical
Record of Some of the Noyes descendants of James, Nicholas and Peter

Early Noyes were clergymen.
James, the son of James Noyes, was a minister at Stonington in
Connecticut. He was in 1701 a founder of Yale University
Noyes have attended almost up to the present time.

were to remain at Stonington in Connecticut for the next two hundred
years. A branch of the family crossed
the border into Rhode Island where James Noyes, a doctor, had acquired
land at
Westerly in the early 1700’s. Colonel
Joseph Noyes was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives
1776. His son Thomas, who fought in the
Revolutionary War, married his cousin Mary Noyes.

Meanwhile Nicholas, the son of Nicholas Noyes, was a minister in Salem
at the time of the Salem witch trials.

“On September 22,
1692, Noyes had officiated as clergyman at the final hangings of those
of witchcraft. It is reported that he
turned toward the suspended bodies of the victims and said: ‘What a sad
it is to see eight firebrands of hell hanging there.'”

From Nicholas the father came Noyes lines in
New Hampshire and Maine.
Joseph Noyes moved to Rockingham county in New
Hampshire in the early 1700’s:

  • his
    descendant John Noyes moved to Brattleboro, Vermont in 1800 where he
    began one
    of the earliest chain stores in America. He
    later served as a US Congressman
  • while John’s son John Humphrey Noyes turned out to be a
    radical religious
    leader and utopian socialist.
    On the basis of his
    principles he founded the
    Oneida community in upstate New York in 1848. It
    broke up in 1879 and John Humphrey fled to Canada.

Another Joseph Noyes, the son of
Cutting Noyes, departed around 1730 for Portland, Maine where he was an
officiating magistrate for many years. A
later Joseph Noyes, born there in 1798, was a ship chandler who served
as a US
Congressman in the 1830’s.

Later Noyes.
In many cases it was the case of heading West during the 19th

But in the case of Crosby Noyes,
born in Maine in 1825, it
was the case of heading south to the nation’s capital Washington DC. Starting with nothing, he became a reporter
for the Washington Evening Star and
in 1867 was able to buy the newspaper. Ownership
passed from Crosby through the generations to Frank, to Newbolt Sr, and
Newbolt Jr who eventually sold the newspaper in 1975.

Edward F. Noyes was orphaned at a young age
in Massachusetts and lost a leg during the Civil War.
He was elected Governor of Ohio in 1871. Colonel
D.K. Noyes
was also crippled during the Civil War.
He was a pioneer settler in Sauk county,

The notable Noyes academics
were not just at Yale:

  • William A. Noyes, born in Iowa, chaired the Chemistry
    department at the University of Illinois from 1907 to 1926. During that time he
    the dominant figure in American chemistry circles.
    His cousin Arthur and sons Albert and Richard
    were also professors of chemistry.
  • while
    George Rapall Noyes, born in Massachusetts, came to Berkeley University
    California in 1901 to start up a program of Slavic studies. I
    n 1919 he became its Professor of Slavic
    Languages, in which capacity he served until his retirement as
    Emeritus in 1943.

Australia. Silas
Noyes from Berkshire, a blacksmith by trade, was convicted of selling
brass and was transported to NSW on the Georgiana
in 1831. His wife Letitia and seven
children joined him there three years later.
The family settled in East Maitland.
After Silas died in 1848 Letitia remarried

Noyes Miscellany

Noy and Noyes of Cornwall and Wiltshire.  Mark Antony Lower wrote in his 1860 Patronymica Britannicaas follows:

“There is a tradition that three brothers of the
name came over from Normandy about the time of the Conquest, and
settled in the
counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Cornwall.

The name is supposed to be derived from Noye or Noyon in Normandy, anciently called
Noyon-sur-Andelle, but
now Charleval, in the canton of Grainville.
But there are several localities in that province called Noyers,
may have an equal claim.

The family of Noyes of Wiltshire and Sussex have, from time out of mind, borne the same arms
as that of Noy of Cornwall, to which the celebrated Attorney General of Charles I belonged.”

The Noyes of Ramridge in Hampshire.  It is thought that the Noyes name may have
originated in East Anglia.  Noyse
appeared at an early time in the adjoining
parishes of Laxfield, Fressingfield, Wingfield, and Ubbeston in the
part of Suffolk.  Here the chief
landowner was the Earl of Suffolk.

manor of Ramridge in Hampshire was also
part of the Earl of Suffolk’s estates.  It
is possible that the Earl sent one of his Suffolk men to oversee the
Hampshire manor, thereby founding the Noyes family in that county. Ramridge near Andover was important as one of
the greatest fairs in England was held partly on its lands.

court rolls for
the manor of Ramridge record that Robert Noys was farming the manor
rendering its accounts) in 1432.  The
Noyes family continued as farmers there for at least two more centuries.

this family descended Nicholas, son of Robert and Joan Noyes, who was
on a 1545
list of taxpayers for the benevolence of Cholderton in the county of
Wiltshire.  Later
came Peter Noyes, MP for Andover in 1614, who moved to Berkshire where
his family became established at
Trunkwell and Southcote
among the Berkshire gentry.

The Noyes Family and Yale University.  The Rev. James Noyes of Stonington, Connecticut was among the ten Congregationalist ministers who were the first trustees of
Yale University in 1701.  They are now
known as “The Founders” and their engraved names line the facade of
Woodbridge Hall at the University.

Rev. James was the first Senior Fellow (Chairman) of the Trustees;
while his
younger brother the Rev. Moses also served as a member.

Later Noyes would attend the University.

The Rev. Daniel Parker Noyes graduated from Yale in 1840, as
did his two sons Frederic in 1862 and Edward in 1880.
Theodore Noyes received a Yale medical degree
in 1867.

Haskell Noyes, a well-known basketball player of his time,
graduated from Yale in 1908.  Newbold
Noyes who graduated in 1941 became a newspaper editor in Washington

Professor Edward Noyes was chairman of the Board of Admissions for
years, was director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program, and
received the
Yale Medal of Honor in 1968.  His son
Edward Noyes II, who was also presented with the Yale Medal of Honor
for his
lifetime service to Yale in 1996, served
as president of the Yale Club of New Haven.

Crosby Noyes’ Early Years.  Crosby Noyes was born on a farm in Minot, Maine in
1825.  Until he was fourteen years old,
he lived with his grandfather Nicholas Noyes, a prominent farmer and
civic leader.  He then left the farm and
spent the remainder of his youth in Lewiston working in a cotton mill
making and repairing harnesses in order to earn money to pay for

According to one family source, he left home because his
birth had been
the result of a liaison between his mother Miranda Noyes and a local
Samuel Hilborn and that, being illegitimate, he was not fully accepted
in the
Noyes household.

In 1847 he went to Washington DC to seek his fortune.  Being short of funds, he left the train in
Philadelphia and walked most of the rest of the way.
He arrived in Washington with $1.62 in his
pocket.  He worked in a bookstore and as
a theatre usher.  He also wrote for the
weekly Washington News as well as for the
Saturday Evening Post.

Colonel D.K Noyes in Wisconsin.  His grandfather Aaron had grown up in New Hampshire,
his father Enoch in Vermont.  In 1844
Enoch departed Vermont with his family for Wisconsin territory.  They eventually settled on a farm in Sauk
county where he died in 1855.

His eldest son DK trained as a lawyer and in 1847
went out to Baraboo in Sauk county when it was still wilderness and
little land
had been cleared.  Although four saw
mills were running, settlers were few.

He was the first attorney at Baraboo and
erected the first office in the town.
There was not much law practice to attend to and he spent the
part of his time locating land.  He did
more of that probably than any other person in the area.
He also established a newspaper The Republic
which he ran for seven
years.  He then purchased a farm of 320
acres and erected a commodious residence, large barn, and made other

In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in
the 6th
Wisconsin Infantry.  At Antietam his right foot was taken off by a
shell while he
was acting as captain.  After the battle he remained at a private
house for eight
weeks before he could be removed to Georgetown hospital.
All but his heel bone was taken from the foot
and he was rendered a cripple for life.
After about three months he went home and with the aid of
crutches was
able to walk a little.

He restarted his newspaper in Baraboo and in 1867 was
appointed its postmaster, a post which he held for some sixteen years.  He retired a well-to-do and respected member
of his community.


Noyes Names

  • William Noy was a leading lawyer in Stuart England.
    He was appointed the Attorney General in 1631. 
  • The Rev. James Noyes was a founder of Yale University in 1701. 
  • Crosby Noyes acquired the Washington Evening Star
    in 1867 and his family held the newspaper 
    until 1975. 
  • Alfred Noyes was an English poet of the early 1900’s, best known for his ballads.

Select Noyes Numbers Today

  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 4,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)


Select Noyes and Like Surnames

Many surnames have come from East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk) and surrounding areas in eastern England.  These are some of the noteworthy surnames that you can check out.




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