Show ContentsGodley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Godley family

The surname Godley was first found in Cheshire at Godley, a township, in the parish of Mottramin-Longdendale, union of Ashton-under-Lyne, hundred of Macclesfield. "Godley is a variant of Godelegh, the name of the possessors of the place in the reign of John: the manor was afterwards held by the Baguleys, who purchased of the Godleys in 1319. [1]

"There is also a Hundred of Godley in Surrey." [2]

One of the first record may have been of the "the family of De Godlee were resident temp. Edward I." [3]

East Cheshire rolls include: Robert de Godelegh, 1294; Henry de Godelegh, 1299; William de Godeleeh, 1349; and Gilbert de Godelegh, 1349. [4]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Willelmus de Godlay, 1379; and Cecilia de Godelay, 1379 as holding lands there at that time. [4]

Early History of the Godley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godley research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1294, 1775, 1639, 1579, 1611, 1847, 1932, 1909, 1849, 1925, 1172 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Godley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Godley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Godley, Godlee, Godlie, Godly, Godleigh, Godlay, Godelay, Godelegh, Goodleigh, Goodley, Goodlay, Goodlie, Goodlee, Godby, Godbey and many more.

Early Notables of the Godley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include the two baronetcies. John Arthur Godley, 1st Baron Kilbracken GCB (1847-1932), was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat and British civil servant. Barons Kilbracken (1909)...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Godley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Godley Ranking

In the United States, the name Godley is the 12,837th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Godley family to Ireland

Some of the Godley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Godley migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Godley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Godley, aged 28, who landed in New York in 1812 [6]
  • F Godley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [6]
  • M Godley, who arrived in San Francisco California in 1851 [6]
Godley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frederick Godley, aged 18, who landed in America from Hurst Green, in 1904
  • Kate Godley, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • Wilhelmina Godley, aged 40, who settled in America from Scarboro, England, in 1908
  • Reginald Godfrey Godley, aged 14, who landed in America from Leeds, England, in 1908
  • Ethel Ginevra Godley, aged 42, who immigrated to the United States from Scarboro, England, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Godley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Godley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Godley, English convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 20th January 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Godley (post 1700) +

  • George McMurtrie Godley II (1917-1999), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Congo (Leopoldville), (1964-1666), Laos, (1969-1973) and Lebanon, (1974-1976)
  • Leonidas Mahlon Godley (1836-1904), Union Army soldier during the American Civil War who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863
  • Lloyd Godley, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1956 (alternate), 1960 [8]
  • Harry Gabriel Godley, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in La Romana, 1949 [8]
  • Sidney Frank Godley VC (1889-1957), English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the first Private to be awarded the VC in World War I
  • Kevin Michael Godley (b. 1945), English musician and music video director
  • George Albert Godley (1857-1941), English police officer who was involved in the hunt for Jack the Ripper in 1888
  • John Raymond Godley DSC (b. 1920), 3rd Baron Kilbracken, English-born, Irish peer, wartime naval pilot, journalist, author and farmer
  • William "Bill" Godley (b. 1879), English footballer
  • Alfred Denis "A.D." Godley (1856-1925), English classical scholar and author, Public Orator at the University of Oxford (1910-1920)
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Sidney George Godley (d. 1939), British Stoker 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Thomas G. Godley, English First Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and survived the sinking [10]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. George Auguste Godley, aged 38, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking [11]

The Godley 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: Sans Dieu rien
Motto Translation: Without God, nothing.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th March 2022). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from
  9. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from
  10. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from
  11. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook