The thesis of various phonetic shifts in names occuring over geography as it is impacted by various language groups seems to be right on target. Indeed, most of David Foy's accumulated variations of the subject name all point to logical, explanable various language accommodations to fit what the ear hears into the local dialect.
The recent finding of contemporary natives of one commune in france being called "les fayais" after their place of inhabitance (La Foye Monjault)points to the name Foye and Fay being derived from the place rather, than say, from patronymy, or landmark.
As David Foy has described several places on this and other boards, De Foye was an appelation applied to earlier families. Well known, for example, is Daniel DeFoye, the author of Robinson Crusoe.
He was Daniel from the place of Foye.
Using French as an example, we could say David de Paris or David Parisienne. Or in German, we could say David von Stoudenheim or David Stoudenheimer. In Dutch, David von Brabandt or David Brabandter.Whatever, ad nauseum.
In the actual case of people today.... in the village of La Foye Monjault.... they are refered to by other people of the region as "Les Fayais" or inhabitant of Foye.
Just as people from Los Angeles are called Angelinos, from New York as New Yorkers....whatever, ad nauseum.
So within the same geographic region....we have Foye and Fayais.....all in the same time frame.ONLY French linguistics explains this variation. It is the relationship between the name of the village (Paris) and the French apellation given to its citizens (Parisienne): Foye - Fayais.
Further to this: It is documented that some of the Foyes from La Foye Monjault went to Guernsey (a dependency of England since 1066) and just a few miles off of France. This island, until only 30 years ago, was primarily a French dialect speaking island.
It is further documented that the some of the Foyes left Guernsey and sailed to and settled in New Jersey (coincidentally, the isle of Jersey...also a French speaking Channel Island). Thus, there is a documented sequence of Foye Huguenots moving from La Foye Monjault to Guernsey to New Jersey.
Many of the Foye (s) in England have wrongly assumed Foye to be English...just as many people think that the Channel Islands which came to England from William in 1066 are English in heritage.....Wrong...The French influence is still there today.
It seems then, that the Fey, Feij and other linguistic variations due to the language of the country to which the Foyes or Fayais moved are indeed, as David Foy postulated, derived from Foye, perhaps the original surname and "Les Fayais"....people who left from La Foye Monjault in the middle of the Foye Woods (Bois du Foye)....
I think the Fay Families may have to rethink their beech tree origins.
I am delighted that David Foy enjoys reading my essays.