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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Goodwin family come from? What is the English Goodwin family crest and coat of arms? When did the Goodwin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Goodwin family history?

The history of the name Goodwin begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name for the son of Godwin.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Goodwin has been recorded under many different variations, including Godwin, Goodwin, Goodin, Gooding, Goodings, Goodwyn, Godwyn, Godwine, Goodwine, Goddwin, Goddwyn, Goddywne and many more.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very early times. Godwin or Godwine (d. 1053) was an earl of Wessex, chief adviser to King Canute, who held great wealth and lands in those times. His son Harold Godwinson (circa 1022-1066) was Harold II of England, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, killed on October 14 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. Godwin, or Godwine was also the name of an 11th century Bishop of Lichfield, who died in 1020.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodwin research. Another 329 words(24 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1219, 1296, 1177, 1273, 1327, 1500, 1562, 1633, 1594, 1665, 1603, 1674, 1641, 1660, 1695, 1677, 1654, 1655, 1659, 1600, 1680, 1597 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Goodwin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 183 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodwin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Goodwin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Goodwin or a variant listed above:

Goodwin Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Mrs. Goodwin settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1632
  • Christopher Goodwin settled in Charlestown Massachusetts in 1640
  • Adam Goodwin who landed in Providence, Rhode Island in 1641
  • Christopher Goodwin, who came to Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1647
  • Daniel Goodwin, who settled in Maine in 1652

Goodwin Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Edwin Goodwin, who settled in Maryland in 1731
  • Catherine Goodwin, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1770

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  • Philip R. Goodwin (1881-1935), American painter and illustrator
  • John Noble Goodwin (1824-1887), American Governor of Arizona, and member of the US Congress
  • Jennifer Michelle "Ginnifer" Goodwin (b. 1978), American People's Choice Award winning, two-time Ten Choice Award nominated television and film actress
  • Richard M. Goodwin (1913-1996), American mathematician and economist who developed the "Goodwin model"
  • Alfred Theodore Goodwin (b. 1923), American senior judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Charles Tod Goodwin (b. 1997), American former NFL football end
  • Robert W. "Bob" Goodwin, Australian-born, American television producer and director best known for his work as senior executive producer of The X-Files
  • Archie Goodwin (1937-1998), American comic book writer, editor, and artist
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin (b. 1943), born Doris Helen Kearns, American Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian, and political commentator
  • Thomas Jones Goodwin (b. 1968), American former Major League Baseball player

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  • Godwin by Jamie Ault Grady.
  • Godwin-Hill and Related Families by Ruth Godwin Gadbury.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et virtute
Motto Translation: By fidelity and valour.

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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The Goodwin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Goodwin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 31 May 2014 at 20:17.

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