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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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 surname Goodwin was 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.

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.


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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 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 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

Goodwin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Goodwin, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Edward Goodwin, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Charles Goodwin, English convict from Lincoln, who was transported aboard the "America" on April 4, 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Goodwin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Planter" in 1839
  • Sarah Goodwin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Planter" in 1839


Goodwin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Goodwin, aged 49, a stock keeper, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Goodwin, aged 43, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • James Goodwin, aged 16, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Jane Goodwin, aged 11, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • George Goodwin, aged 9, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841


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  • Godfrey Gummer Goodwin (1873-1933), American Republican politician, Isanti County Attorney, 1899-1907, 1912-25; U.S. Representative from Minnesota 10th District, 1925-33
  • Miss Rose Goodwin, American 3rd Class passenger from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Leo Budd Goodwin (1883-1957), American gold and two time bronze Olympic medalist for swimming at the 1904 and 1908 games
  • Thomas Jones Goodwin (b. 1968), American former Major League Baseball player
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin (b. 1943), born Doris Helen Kearns, American Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, historian, and political commentator
  • Archie Goodwin (1937-1998), American comic book writer, editor, and artist
  • Robert W. "Bob" Goodwin, Australian-born, American television producer and director best known for his work as senior executive producer of The X-Files
  • Charles Tod Goodwin (b. 1997), American former NFL football end
  • Alfred Theodore Goodwin (b. 1923), American senior judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Richard M. Goodwin (1913-1996), American mathematician and economist who developed the "Goodwin model"

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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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  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 29 March 2016 at 10:06.

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