Show ContentsGoodell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Goodell family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Goodell family lived in Yorkshire, which was the largest county in northern England and was divided into three administrative ridings, North Riding, West Riding, and East Riding. It was bordered by the counties of Durham, Westmorland, Lancashire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. The town of York was the military capital of Roman Britain, the capital of Northumbria, and was the seat of an Archbishop. Yorkshire was also the home of the House of York, which was an English royal dynasty from 1461 to 1485. The reigning members of the House of York were Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III. Their rivalry with the House of Lancaster resulted in the Wars of the Roses, which lasted from 1455 to 1485 and ended when the Lancastrian Henry VII united the two houses by marrying Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV.

Early Origins of the Goodell family

The surname Goodell was first found in West Riding of Yorkshire at Gowdall, a township, in the parish of Snaith, union of Goole, Lower division of the wapentake of Osgoldcross. 1

In the 12th century, this parish was known as Goodale, 2 3 and literally meant "nook of land where marigolds grow," from the Old English words "golde" + halh." 2

However, two sources claim the name was derived from "good hall." 4 5 The former also postulates it could have been derived from "good - ale."

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 have numerous entries of the family including: Villa de Goldale; Johannes Godhale; Ricardus de Goldall; and Johannes Godhall. Over in the East Riding of Yorkshire the Poll Tax of Howdenshire, again recorded in 1379 listed: Agnes Godhall; and Johannes Gudhall. 3

Early History of the Goodell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodell research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1642, 1670, 1706, 1712, 1766 and 1967 are included under the topic Early Goodell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goodell Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Goodell include Goodall, Goodale, Godall, Godale, Goodell and others.

Early Notables of the Goodell family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Charles Goodall . (1642-1712), English physician, born in Suffolk in 1642, studied medicine at Leyden, and graduated M.D. at Cambridge 26 Nov. 1670...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goodell Ranking

In the United States, the name Goodell is the 5,671st most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 6

Ireland Migration of the Goodell family to Ireland

Some of the Goodell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Goodell migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Goodells to arrive on North American shores:

Goodell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • T Goodell, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 7
  • Goodell, aged 42, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Ed. Goodell, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Alice Goodell, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Frances Goodell, aged 44, who landed in America, in 1893
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Goodell Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Goodell, who landed in America, in 1904
  • G. B. Goodell, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Edwin B Goodell, aged 56, who immigrated to America, in 1907
  • Annette C Goodell, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Ethel M. Goodell, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Goodell (post 1700) +

  • David Harvey Goodell (1834-1915), American inventor, manufacturer, and Republican politician
  • Richard Goodell (d. 1826), American politician
  • John Henry William Goodell (1907-1993), American pitcher in Major League Baseball
  • Rhoda Lavinia Goodell (1839-1880), the first American woman licensed to practice law in Wisconsin
  • Andrew W. "Andy" Goodell (b. 1954), American politician
  • Brian Stuart Goodell (b. 1959), American Olympic champion and former World Record holding freestyle swimmer
  • William Goodell (1792-1878), American abolitionist and reformer
  • Jeff Goodell, American author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine
  • Charles Ellsworth Goodell (1926-1987), U.S. Representative and a Senator from New York
  • Roger S. Goodell (b. 1959), American Commissioner of the National Football League

The Goodell 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: Toujours fidele
Motto Translation: Always faithful.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  5. Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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) on Facebook