Show ContentsGodsell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Godsell. It was given to a person who was "gode," meaning "good," along with "saule, or soule," meaning "soul." Thus it is thought to have originally been a nickname for a good soul, or honest person, which then went on to become a hereditary surname.

Early Origins of the Godsell family

The surname Godsell was first found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D. We cannot support Lower, Bardsley, and Harrison who claim that the name was from Gods-Hill in the Isle of Wight.

Early History of the Godsell family

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

Godsell Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Godsell has appeared include Godsell, Godsall, Goldsalde, Godseel, Godsel, Godsalve and many more.

Early Notables of the Godsell family (pre 1700)

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 Godsell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Godsell family to Ireland

Some of the Godsell 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.

United States Godsell migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Godsell arrived in North America very early:

Godsell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Godsell, who arrived in America in 1654-1679 [1]
  • John Godsell, who landed in Virginia in 1678 [1]
Godsell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Godsell, who settled in Tilting in 1818

Canada Godsell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Godsell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Godsell, who settled in Harbour Grace from County Cork in 1831
  • Maria Godsell settled at Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland in 1866 [2]

Australia Godsell migration to Australia +

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

Godsell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Godsell, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]

West Indies Godsell migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [4]
Godsell Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Edward Godsell, who settled in Barbados in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Godsell (post 1700) +

  • Richard Thomas Godsell (1880-1954), English cricketer for Gloucestershire from 1903 to 1910
  • Vanda Godsell (1922-1990), English actress of the Godsell brewing family of Stroud
  • John Dryburgh Godsell (1924-2014), Scottish professional footballer from 1945 to 1952
  • Andrew Godsell (b. 1964), British writer from Aldershot, Hampshire
  • Sean Godsell (b. 1960), Australian architect and former professional footballer
  • Robert Michael "Bobby" Godsell (b. 1952), retired South African businessman and the former CEO of South African gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti

  1. 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)
  2. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from
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