Show ContentsGodsave History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Godsave is of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was name for a person who was "gode," meaning "good," along with "saule, or soule," meaning "soul" in other words "an honest fellow." 1

Alternatively, the name could have been a local name from "Gadshill (Kent), Godshill (Isle of Wight), Godshill (Hants) or Godsell Fm (Wiltshire), all originally Godeshyll ‘god’s hill’" 1

Another source postulates the name is "perhaps from Godshill, in the Isle of Wight or the same as Godesilus, the name of an early Burgundian King." 2 Pursuing the Godesilus connection, one source notes that "Godescalus, [was] a mesne lord in Wiltshire in 1086." This latter source is obviously eluding to an entry appearing in the Domesday Book. 3 4

Early Origins of the Godsave family

The surname Godsave was first found in Norfolk where William God saule was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1197. Ralph Godsouls was found in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1219 and later, Hugh de Godeshill was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1225. The Pipe Rolls for Hampshire list Hugh de Godeshull in 1230 and later again, we found Thomas de Godeshell in Devon in 1309. The Subsidy Rolls for Sussex list Richard Godeshull in 1327. 1 Ralph Godsale, taillour was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 5

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 point to the widespread use of the name with a variety of spellings: Amice and Cecilla Godsol in Cambridgeshire; Augustin Godsouele in Huntingdonshire; and Radulphus Godsale in Norfolk. 5

"Godsell, a name now rare in the county, but represented by the Godsalls and Godsells of the neighbourhood of the city of Hereford, was an established name in Kingswood (co. Gloucester) during the 17th and 18th centuries, where a family of clothiers thus called resided." 6

Early History of the Godsave family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godsave research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1505, 1542, 1546, 1556 and 1568 are included under the topic Early Godsave History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Godsave 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 Godsave have been found, including Godsell, Godsall, Goldsalde, Godseel, Godsel, Godsalve and many more.

Early Notables of the Godsave family

Notables of the family at this time include Sir John Godsalve (b. circa 1505- d. 1556), Clerk of the Signet, and Comptroller of the Mint, was the son and heir of Thomas Godsalve (d. 1542), registrar of the consistory court at Norwich and an owner of landed property in Norfolk.Edward...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Godsave Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Godsave family to Ireland

Some of the Godsave family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Godsave family

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 Godsave, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were: Michael Godsil settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in 1816; William Godsell settled in Tilting in 1818; Thomas Godsell settled in Harbour Grace from County Cork in 1831.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. 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)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print. on Facebook