The name “Boyce” derives from an Old French word, “bois” for tree or wood. The original ancestor possibly lived near a woods. They were originally from the town of Bois in Normandy. The name has many variants. We have found: Boice, Boyse, Boys, Bois. Though, we have not linked back that far, the first recorded “Boyces” was Nicholas del Bois in Lincolnshire on the Pipe Rolls in 1201. Note, that Lincolnshire is less than 100 miles from Welton, where the family lived for over 100 years!
Our story begins in the town of Welton, Northamptonshire, (a borough of about 500 parishes!) England. Northampton, Northamtonshire, reportedly a compact and unassuming town is the centre of shoe making in England and at least one Boyce, our John, was indeed a Shoe Maker.
The Boyces were in Welton for at least 100 years. Welton had a whopping 688 folks in 1861 according to the free ebook, Researches into the History of Welton and its Neighborhood by Thomas Thompson. Wikipedia tells us that in 2011, Welton had a population of 608! One gets the feeling that not much changes in this area.
The Boyces were Methodists, called Non-conformists in the records.
To discover something of the lineage of Thomas and Temperance Boyse, please click their names.
To learn about the Shoemaker and his family from Northamptonshire, England, click John Boyce and Martha James.