Arms. Argent, an eagle displayed, with two necks, gules,
over all Fess Ermine.
Crest. A demi-wolf-rampant, argent, ducally gorged.
Motto. Mors aut honorabilis vita.
The Joyce family were of English origin, arriving in Ireland
in the reign of Edward I, going on they seize large tracts
of land in the Barony of Ross; an area subsequently known as
Another of the Tribes of Galway, they had
seats in Mervue, Woodquay as well as parts of County Mayo.
This old Galway family is of English
descent, and was allied to the Welch and British princes
Thomas Joyes. Thomas Joyes was the first of the name that came to Ireland,
when he sailed from Wales in the reign of Edward I.
He arrived with
his fleet at Thomond in Munster. He married Onorah
O'Brien, daughter of the chief of that district; from
thence, putting to sea, he directed his course to the
western part of Connaught. There he acquired considerable
tracts of territory, which his descendants still inhabit.
While on the voyage, his wife
gave birth to a son, whom
he named Mac Mara, son of the sea. He extended his father's
acquisitions, and from him descended the sept of the Joyces.
a race of men remarkable for their extraordinary stature,
who, for centuries past inhabited the mountainous district,
in Iar Connaught, called, from them, Duthaidh Sheodhoigh, or
This now forms the barony of Ross, in County Galway, and for which they were formerly tributary
to the O'Flaherties.
Walter Jorse, Jorze or Joyce,
brother of Thomas, Cardinal of Sabina, was Archbishop of Armagh.
He resigned in 1311, and
was succeeded by his brother Roland. The former was
confessor to Edward II. and was author of several works.
The families of Joyce
flourished through-out County Galway,
Foxford in Mayo, and Woodquay in Galway City. The family was
also prominent in Mervue, near Galway City.