Godfray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The rich and ancient history of the Godfray family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from the baptismal name for the son of Godfrey. Baptismal names were a form of patronymic surnames, and came from either the religious or vernacular given name traditions. In this case, the patronym was adopted from the personal name of the bearers father.
Early Origins of the Godfray family
The surname Godfray was first found in Kent. One of the first records of the name was Henricus filius Godefrid who was listed in the Pipe Rolls taken during the reign of King Henry II (1154-1189.) 
It is generally believed that he was related to William Godefridus of Normandy listed in a census there taken 1180-1198. 
However, the Godfrey variant had many early references including Godfrey the Bearded (c.?997-1069); and his son, Godfrey IV, Duke of Lower Lorraine (died 1706), known as the Hunchback who was assassinated in Vlaardingen; Godfrey of Bouillon (c. 1060-1100), a medieval Frankish knight, one of the leaders of the First Crusade, Godfrey of Cambrai, the prior of Winchester Abbey from 1082 until his death in 1107; and Godfrey (died 1088), medieval Bishop of Chichester.
"In the churchyard [of Woodford, Essex] is a splendid Corinthian column of marble, about forty feet in height, erected to the memory of the Godfrey family, which flourished many years in Kent; also a tomb with a column entirely covered with ivy, of picturesque appearance; and a remarkably fine old yew-tree." 
Early History of the Godfray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godfray research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1666, 1273, 1622, 1678, 1642, 1631, 1648, 1714, 1641, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Godfray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Godfray Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Godfray have been found, including Godfrey, Godfry, Godfrie, Godfree, Godfery, Godkin and many more.
Early Notables of the Godfray family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey (1622-1678), English politician, London woodmonger and Justice of the Peace, his unsolved murder was one of the most celebrated historical mysteries; Richard Godfrey...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Godfray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Godfray family to Ireland
Some of the Godfray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 120 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Godfray migration to the United States +
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Godfray, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :
Godfray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Emma Godfray, aged 2, who arrived in New York in 1862 
- James Godfray, aged 7, who landed in New York in 1862 
- John E Godfray, aged 4, who landed in New York in 1862 
- Mary Godfray, aged 40, who arrived in New York in 1862 
- Mary E Godfray, aged 6, who landed in New York in 1862 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Godfray (post 1700) +
- Sir Hugh Charles Jonathan Godfray C.B.E., F.R.S. (b. 1958), British Hope Professor of Zoology for University of Oxford was appointed Knights Bachelor on 17th June 2017, for services to Scientific Research and for Scientific Advice to Government
Related Stories +
The Godfray Motto +
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: Deus et libertas
Motto Translation: God and liberty.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)