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

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

The ancient Normans that arrived in England following the Conquest of 1066 are the initial ancestors from which the many generations of the Goodenough family have grown. The name Goodenough was given to a member of the family who was a person who's achievements were "good enough." A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Goodenough include Goodenough, Goodenowe, Goodenuff and others.

First found in Cumberland where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodenough research. Another 202 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodenough History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Goodenough Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Goodenoughs to arrive on North American shores:

Goodenough Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Goodenough, who settled in New England in 1686

Goodenough Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Goodenough, who landed in New York in 1844

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  • John B Goodenough, American professor of mechanical and electrical engineering at The University of Texas
  • Florence Laura Goodenough (1886-1959), American pioneering child psychologist
  • Ursula W Goodenough, Professor of Biology at the University of Washington in St. Louis
  • Sir William Edmund Goodenough (1867-1945), Admiral
  • Sir William Macnamara Goodenough (1899-1951), Baronet


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  1. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
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  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Goodenough Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Goodenough 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 27 October 2010 at 13:36.

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