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

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

The ancestors of the Gothard family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Gothard is based on the Germanic personal name Godhard, which is composed of the elements god, which means good, and hard, which means brave or strong.

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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 Gothard include Goddard, Goddart, Godard, Godart, Godarte, Godert, Godderd and many more.

First found in Wiltshire where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gothard research. Another 195 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1200, 1208, 1221, 1299, 1617 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Gothard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 91 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gothard 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 Gothards to arrive on North American shores:

Gothard Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Johann Gothard, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804

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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: Cervus non servus
Motto Translation: A stag not enslaved.

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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. 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.
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. 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.
  6. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. 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. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Gothard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gothard 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 6 November 2012 at 17:03.

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