Godwin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Godwin is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of the Britain and comes from the baptismal name for the son of Godwin.

Early Origins of the Godwin family

The surname Godwin 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. [1]

Early History of the Godwin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Godwin 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 Godwin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Godwin Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Godwin has been spelled many different ways, including Godwin, Goodwin, Goodin, Gooding, Goodings, Goodwyn, Godwyn, Godwine, Goodwine, Goddwin, Goddwyn, Goddywne and many more.

Early Notables of the Godwin 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 Godwin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Godwin family to Ireland

Some of the Godwin 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.


United States Godwin migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Godwins to arrive in North America:

Godwin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Reinould Godwin, who arrived in Virginia in 1620
  • Reinould Godwin, who landed in Virginia in 1620 [2]
  • Robert Godwin, who landed in Virginia in 1624 [2]
  • Daniel Godwin, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Danll Godwin, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Godwin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Godwin, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [2]
  • Rota Godwin, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [2]
  • Thomas Godwin, who landed in Virginia in 1715 [2]
  • Germain Casse Godwin, who landed in Louisiana in 1718-1724 [2]
Godwin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Godwin, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1850

Australia Godwin migration to Australia +

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

Godwin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Godwin, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • Mr. John Godwin, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [4]
  • Jane Godwin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Aden" in 1849 [5]
  • Thomas Godwin, aged 16, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm" [6]
  • Mr. Joseph Godwin, aged 38, a schoolmaster, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Admiral Boxer"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Godwin migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Godwin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Esther Godwin, aged 28, a housekeeper, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S.S. Arawa" in 1884
  • Esther Godwin, aged 28, a housekeeper, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arawa" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Godwin (post 1700) +

  • Katherine Godwin (1917-2015), American two-time First Lady of Virginia (1966-1970) and (1974-1978)
  • Tom Godwin (1915-1980), American science fiction author, best known for his many short stories
  • Parke Godwin (1816-1904), American journalist, associate editor of Putnam's Magazine
  • Parke Godwin (b. 1929), American writer, best known for his Robin Hood and The Masters of Solitude series of books
  • Gail Kathleen Godwin (b. 1937), American novelist and short story writer, five-time appearance on the New York Times best seller list
  • Linda Maxine Godwin (b. 1952), American scientist and former NASA astronaut with 38 days in space [7]
  • Hannibal Lafayette Godwin (1873-1929), American politician, U.S. Congressman from North Carolina
  • Frank Godwin (1889-1959), American illustrator
  • Gilman Chase Godwin (1840-1891), American Democrat politician, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, 1886-90 [8]
  • Abraham Godwin, American politician, Postmaster at Paterson, New Jersey, 1849 [8]
  • ... (Another 30 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • William Godwin (d. 1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
  • Thomas George Godwin (1913-1939), British Leading Telegraphist with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Frederick Charles Godwin (d. 1912), aged 35, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]


The Godwin 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: Fide et virtute
Motto Translation: By fidelity and valour.


Suggested Readings for the name Godwin +

  • 1459 Godwin by Jamie Ault Grady, The Godwin Ancestry by Mrs. Millard Smith Trotter.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Aden from London via Plymouth Adealide Arriving September 12th 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849AdenRegister.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 1st May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) David Malcolm 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/davidmalcolm1855.shtml
  7. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Linda Godwin. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/godwin.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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