Show ContentsGodolfan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Godolfan family

The surname Godolfan was first found in Cornwall at Godolphin, a church district, in the parish of Breage, union of Helston, hundred of Kerrier. "This place, anciently called Godolcan, has been long celebrated for its tin-mines. It gave name to the family of Godolphin, who were its lords in the time of William the Conqueror, and of whom Sir Francis Godolphin, by his perseverance and success in mining, increased the customs more than £10,000 per annum in the reign of Elizabeth. Sidney, son of Sir William Godolphin, Bart., a distinguished statesman, was in 1689 created Baron Godolphin, of Rialton, which title, having become extinct, was revived in 1832. An old mansion on the Godolphin estate, belonging to the Duke of Leeds, is now occupied by a farmer." 1

"In this parish is the well known manor of Godolphin, which, through a series of ages belonged to an ancient family that resided here. Speaking of its famous mine, Carew observes, that the name originally was Godolghan, though lately declined with a milder accent to Godolphin, which in Cornish signifies a white eagle. Some variations in the name of the family took place in the reign of Henry VII. ; from which time it remained unaltered until it became extinct.

Britton says, 'Godolphin is an ancient manor of the Godolphin family, who resided here in the time of William the Conqueror.' Hals indeed admits the name of this place, either as Godolghan or Godolphin, to be very ancient; but he contends that its possessors did not assume this name until the days of Henry VII. when it was changed from Nava, or Knava, to Godolphin." 2

The Scilly Islands lie west-south-west from the Land's End, Cornwall. "In the reign of queen Elizabeth they were granted by her to Francis Godolphin for 38 years, at the rent of £10 per annum;- in 1604, this lease was renewed to Sir William Godolphin for 50 years, at £20 per annum. And from that time the grant, though frequently renewed, has continued in the same family." 2

Early History of the Godolfan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godolfan research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1079, 1142, 1149, 1162, 1510, 1515, 1540, 1567, 1570, 1579, 1580, 1599, 1600, 1604, 1605, 1608, 1611, 1613, 1617, 1635, 1640, 1645, 1663, 1665, 1667, 1678, 1679, 1684, 1696, 1712 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Godolfan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Godolfan Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Godolphin, Godolcan, Godolghan, Godolhan, Godolfan and many more.

Early Notables of the Godolfan family

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir William Godolphin (1515-1570), an English soldier and Member of Parliament; Sir Francis Godolphin (1540-1608), an English Member of Parliament; Sir William Godolphin (1567-1613), of Godolphin in Cornwall, was an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1604 to 1611; William Godolphin (c 1605-1663), an English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640 who fought for the Royalist cause in...
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Godolfan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Godolfan family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook