Goffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Goffe is derived from the Welsh word "coch," which means "red." Goffe was originally a nickname for a ruddy or red-complexioned person, which later became a hereditary surname. [1]

Iolo Goch or the Red ( fl. 1328-1405), a Welsh bard, whose real name is said to be Edward Llwyd, was Lord of Llechryd and resided at Coed Pantwn in Denbighshire. [2]

Early Origins of the Goffe family

The surname Goffe was first found in Radnorshire (Welsh: Sir Faesyfed), a former historic county of mid- Wales, anciently part of the kingdom of Powys.

However, while the name is a well known Welsh name, we must look to England to find some of the first records in early rolls. Robert Gogh was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1287 and later in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset. [3]

Again in Somerset, Robert Gogh was listed in the rolls there, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [4]

It was not until 1576, that we find Thomas Goughe listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Wales. [3]

Early History of the Goffe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goffe research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1528, 1556, 1570, 1559, 1560, 1605, 1681, 1605, 1591, 1629, 1591, 1679, 1642, 1660, 1660, 1610, 1661 and are included under the topic Early Goffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goffe Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Goffe have included Gough, Goff, Gof, Goffe and others.

Early Notables of the Goffe family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Sir Matthew Gough knighted in the French wars. John Gough, Gowghe, Gowgh, Gouge ( fl. 1528-1556), was an early English printer, stationer, and translator, first lived in Cheapside [London], "next to Paul's Gate, possibly in the house of John Rastell; he afterwards moved into Lombard Street, using the sign of the mermaid in both places. " [2] John Gough (fl. 1570), was an English divine, "who seems not to have been of any university, was ordained deacon by Grindal, bishop of London, 14 Jan. 1559-1560. " [2] Stephen Goffe (Gough) C.O. (1605-1681), was a Royalist...
Another 184 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Goffe family to Ireland

Some of the Goffe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Goffe migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Goffe:

Goffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Goffe and his wife settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Robert Goffe, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [5]
  • Edward Goffe who settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1630
  • John Goffe, who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Eliza Goffe, aged 26, who arrived in America in 1635 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Goffe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Goffe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1820 [5]
  • Thomas Goffe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [5]

Canada Goffe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Goffe Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Goffe, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1838

Contemporary Notables of the name Goffe (post 1700) +

  • George W. Goffe, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Hampshire, 1876 [6]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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