Origins

When talking of origins, it is the earliest records of the Noyes family that are referred to. The Family Noyes can be separated into two, seemingly separate main groups; East Anglian and South of England. The South of England Family originates in Hampshire and Wiltshire, the earliest member referred to (Robert Noys) in the court rolls of Ramridge Manor within the parish of Penton Grafton alias Weyhill in 1432. Records for the East Anglian Noyse go back further still. William and Simon Noysse were both listed in the Subsidy Returns for Suffolk in 1327 for Laxfield. A Walter Noyse was mentioned in connection with a land fine c.1209 in Scratby, a village on the coast of Norfolk just north of Great Yarmouth. Going back further still, William de Noyers is given as a major land holder in Norfolk and Suffolk (mainly for the King) in the Domesday book and maybe the originator of the Noyse family in this area. Are the two families, East Anglian and Southern counties Noyse the same family? Could the name Noyse or Noyes evolve in two places separately? The best theory so far is as follows. Ramridge was owned by the de la Pole Family since 1354 (VCH Hampshire v.4 p. 395) and passed through the family until in 1430, Thomas de la Pole died without issue and the estate passed, with others, to his cousin William de la Pole, fourth Earl and later Duke of Suffolk. It was this bequest that united the estates in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire with Suffolk. William de la Pole also held a property in London, where due to his position, he spent much of his time. William de la Pole played a leading role in the war with France and conflicting sources describe him as being on English or French soil between 1430 and 1432 at various times. He was far from the average "Lord of the Manor" and must have run his country estates by means of servants or stewards. The Suffolk estates were in the parishes of Wingfield, Fressingfield and Laxfield, and the long established Noysse family of Laxfield may have worked in the service of the de la Poles. It is from this family that Robert Noys may have come to manage the newly acquired estate of Ramridge in 1432 for William de la Pole. Currently, we have no proof that Robert Noys of Ramridge came from Suffolk, just this theory. Maybe someone will one day find the shred of proof.

Apart from Robert Noys of Ramridge 1432, several other individuals have left their mark in surviving records from the fifteenth century in two other parishes, namely Kimpton, Hampshire and Urchfont, Wiltshire. John Noyes is mentioned to be in Ramridge Manor in the 1470's and Richard Noyes is described as of Shoddesden (parish of Kimpton), also in the same decade. At this stage there is no proof of relationships, but we can surmise that Richard and John might be the sons of Robert mentioned in 1432. In the 1490's, other family members are uncovered. Robert of Ramridge, Thomas of Littleton (parish of Kimpton) and William of Urchfont. Again, proven relationships are non-existent and assigning members to particular generations is not straightforward. The next generation is where records become more generous, and the branches split in the previous century more pronounced.

There are many records for Robert Noyes of Littleton Manor, who is probably the son of Thomas of Littleton. John dcd 1538 son of Robert moved to Shipton Bellinger and started the Shipton branch that survived well into the C17th. Noyes from the Tidworth area most probably came from this branch. Nicholas son of Robert of Littleton moved to Cholderton and founded the branch that most American Noyes descend. Descendants of this branch also moved to Burbage and Pewsey, Wiltshire.

The Ramridge Family is now represented by Thomas Noyes dcd 1555, but his parentage is unclear. Richard of Frilsham, Berkshire dcd 1568 is most probably the younger brother of Thomas of Ramridge. The Berkshire branch can be traced for a few generations but is then lost. Undoubtedly, Noyes from the Basingstoke and Warfield areas derive from this branch.

William of Urchfont had three sons who between them account for most of the Noyes population of Wiltshire accepting some derived from the other main branches.

Richard Noyes of Kimpton (dcd 1553) is most probably the descendant of Richard of Shoddesden (as mentioned of 1470's), and does not seem to fit in with the Littleton family although they live in the same parish. His son, Robert dcd 1574, fathered a branch that stayed in the Kimpton area, but also moved to Biddesden, parish of Ludgershall, Wiltshire. This branch could also have strayed to the Collingbournes, Tidworth and Tangley.

So from maybe one man, the South of England Noyes family both increased and migrated to pastures green. The Noyes family spread its wings quite early, but many Noyes still live near where it all began, and this author is one of them!

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Last Updated: 3rd July 1999

Stuart Noyes 1999.