The JOYNT surname is of Huguenot origin, a derivative of le Joint, the slim or graceful.
The Joynt’s are believed to be descendents of a French Huguenot family by the name of “De Joyance” who fled France before the Edict of Nantes, created in 1598, was abolished. This Edict was created after 30 years of civil war known as the Wars of Religion, by King Henry IV of France in 1598 and gave the Huguenots, who were French Protestants, freedom of worship and equal rights. However, this Edict proved to be a fragile settlement as the government of France was in the hands of churchmen. When Louis XIV came to the throne in 1638, age 4, his government persecuted the Huguenots forcing many to leave France. Many thousands of Huguenots fled France for the safety of England, the Netherlands, Prussia and the USA, many of the De Joyance’s chose to settle in England.
The majority of the De Joyance’s appear to have originally settled in Cornwall and Devon, with smaller numbers settling in cities like Bristol and London. Several name deviants appeared which include the most popular and familiar Joynt, but, also Joyant, Joynte, Joint, Jayant and Joyte.
The migration of a branch of Joynt’s to the lonely, wind-swept county of County Mayo in the West Coast of Ireland is believed to have come about because of the Irish rebellion which started in 1641. In 1649 Oliver Cromwell arrived with an army to subdue the Catholic rebels a process which took until 1653 to complete. He continued the policy of James I “The Plantation of England” by making substantial grants to his officers to establish an English Protestant presence amongst the rebellious Catholics. It is believed that two brothers of the family, both Captains in Cromwell’s Army received such land grants and settled in Co. Mayo and Limerick. We know that a William Joynt was the Sheriff of County Limerick c1659.
Another tale is that the Joynt’s originally came over to Ireland with William of Orange and settled in Killala., An extract from “Crossmolina Parish – an historical survey” talks of Kinnard House (of Kinnar Manor) of which there is no trace today. It was a 2 storied cut limestone building, some think Burke’s built it and others think Joynt’s. Henry and Eleanor Joynt lived at Kinnard House until 1834 when they moved to Ballina. Another Joynt lived in Rathduf House and Orme Joynt (son of George and Mary) lived in Streamstown House.
Many of their descendants emigrated in the 1800’s. Some only travelled as far as England, including my own ancestors, others spread as far afield as Australia, the USA, Canada and South Africa.