Goffin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Goffin is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a person who made baskets. The surname Goffin is derived from the Old French words cofin and coffin, which in turn come from the Late Latin word cophinus, which means basket. Occupational names such as this one frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. The English word coffin is a specialized development of this word which did not exist before the 16th century. The surname Goffin may also be a nickname derived from the Latin word calvus, which means bald.

Early Origins of the Goffin family

The surname Goffin was first found in Devon at Alwington, a parish, in the union of Bideford, hundred of Shebbear, Great Torrington. "In the church [of Alwington], over the door of the chancel, is a curious ancient monument to a member of the Coffin family." [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has a range of spellings for the family: Richard Chaufin, Nottinghamshire; Robert Coffyn, Lincolnshire; and William Coffyn, Devon. [2]

Early History of the Goffin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goffin research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1571, 1626, 1571, 1585, 1588, 1592, 1593, 1594, 1597 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Goffin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goffin Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Goffin are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Goffin include Coffin, Coffyn, Colvin, Caffin, Caffyn, Chafen, Chaffine and many more.

Early Notables of the Goffin family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Edward Coffin alias Hatton (1571-1626), English Jesuit, born at Exeter in 1571, and arrived at the English college at Rheims on 19 July 1585. On 26 July 1588 he entered...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goffin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Goffin migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Goffin or a variant listed above:

Goffin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Goffin, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Goffin (post 1700) +

  • Joel Christian Goffin (b. 1981), American film composer and music producer
  • Louise Lynn Goffin (b. 1960), American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
  • Gerald "Gerry" Goffin (1939-2014), American lyricist, ex-husband of Carole King, known for his songs "The Loco-Motion," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "Up on the Roof," inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990
  • Miriam S. Goffin, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1972 [4]
  • Magdalen Goffin FRSL (b. 1925), English writer
  • Peter Goffin F.R.S.A. (1906-1974), English set and costume designer and stage manager
  • David Goffin (b. 1990), Belgian tennis player
  • Sir. Dean Goffin (1916-1984), one of New Zealand's first prolific Salvation Army composers


The Goffin 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: Extant recte factis praemia
Motto Translation: Rewards await right actions.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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