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  • Clan Joyce of Ulster

Clan Joyce of Ulster Memorable Biographies: Thomas Joise (b. circa 1609)

For many members of Clan Joyce of Ulster, it has already been established that the clan’s origins began with the Scottish Joss family. From Joyces of Ulster descent who live in Australia, America, Canada, England, Scotland, Ulster, and New Zealand, their ancestors emigrated to Ulster from Scotland. But what isn’t exactly common knowledge is who the shared Joss forefather is. In fact, for most people his memory has been lost to time. However, this is unfortunate since he led such a consequential life, no matter how little is recorded about him.


Born sometime around 1609 in Aberdeenshire, Thomas’s origins are unknown, as are his parents. What is for certain is that he lived somewhere around Inverurie Scotland, near Frendraught Castle. Around this time his sons, William Joass (1632-1707) and George Joass (b. 1629) were born, he had become part of high society. Originally a stewart to James Crichton of Frendraught Castle, Thomas became involved in one of the biggest mysteries in Scottish history. After Frendraught Castle burned down in 1630, he became of particular interest to the local courts. So much so, that Sir George Ogilvie Lord Banff, a friend of James Crichton, became “cautioner and surety” for Thomas Joise. Years later, Thomas became “Factor and Chamberlain” for the aforementioned Lord of Banff. Around this time, Thomas Joise acquired the title Thomas Joise of Culynwart when he moved to Banff, Scotland.




Today all Ulster-Scot Joyce descend from one of his sons, William Joass or George Joass. Through Laird William Joass of Culynwart, the Joyces of Ballydugan, County Armagh and Ballynahinch, County Down descend. For George Joass, it is because of him that the Joyces of Ballydonaghy, County Armagh exist. If not for the patronage of Lord Banff, Thomas' lineage would not have settled in Banff. And perhaps, his lineage would not even have emigrated to County Armagh and Down as well. But whatever the case may be, it is clear that Thomas Joise (b. circa. 1609) continues to play an important role in the history of Clan Joyce of Ulster.

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