Godswin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The history of the Godswin name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the baptismal name Godwin, which comes from the Old English name "Go-dwine," composed of the elements "go-d," meaning "good," and "wine," meaning "friend," collectively meaning "God friend."  
Early Origins of the Godswin family
The surname Godswin was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very early times. Godwin or Godwine (d. 1053) was the Earl of Wessex, chief adviser to King Canute, who held great wealth and lands in those times. His son Harold Godwinson (circa 1022-1066) was Harold II of England, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, killed on October 14 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. Godwin, or Godwine was also the name of an 11th century Bishop of Lichfield, who died in 1020. 
Early rolls show the many spellings used throughout ancient Britain beginning with the Domesday Book of 1086 where we find Ailmar filius Goduini.  Years later in Yorkshire, we found Ricardus filius Godwini in the Assize Rolls of 1219. In Norfolk, the Pipe Rolls of 1177 list Walter Godwin as holding lands there at that time. In Cambridgeshire, the Feet of Fines for 1327 list Robert Gudwen and in the same year, William Goudwyne was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex. In Worcestershire, William Godewynes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for 1327 and back in Yorkshire, we found John Gudwyn listed as a Freeman of York in 1388. 
Early History of the Godswin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godswin research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1219, 1296, 1177, 1273, 1327, 1500, 1517, 1590, 1517, 1562, 1633, 1594, 1665, 1603, 1674, 1641, 1660, 1695, 1677, 1654, 1655, 1659, 1600, 1680, 1605, 1662, 1605, 1719, 1670, 1730, 1670, 1695, 1597 and are included under the topic Early Godswin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Godswin Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Godswin family name include Godwin, Goodwin, Goodin, Gooding, Goodings, Goodwyn, Godwyn, Godwine, Goodwine, Goddwin, Goddwyn, Goddywne and many more.
Early Notables of the Godswin family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Thomas Godwin (1517-1590), Bishop of Bath and Wells, born in 1517 at Oakingham, Berkshire, of poor parents; Francis Godwin (1562-1633), English divine, Bishop of Llandaff and of Hereford; John Goodwin (1594-1665), an English preacher, theologian and prolific author; John Goodwin (1603-1674), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1641 and 1660, supporter of the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War; Peter Gooden (died 1695), an English Roman Catholic priest; Thomas Godwin (died 1677), a Virginia politician and landowner, served in the House of Burgesses 1654-1655...
Another 98 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Godswin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Godswin family to Ireland
Some of the Godswin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Godswin family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Godswin surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Reinould Godwin, who arrived in Virginia in 1620; Mrs. Goodwin settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1632; Daniel Godwin, who came to Virginia in 1635; Deveraux Godwin, who arrived in Maryland in 1638.
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: Fide et virtute
Motto Translation: By fidelity and valour.
- Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)