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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The Goodenow family has descended through the lines of the ancient Normans that came to England following their Conquest of England in 1066. The Goodenow name reveals that an early member was a person who's achievements were "good enough." A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Goodenow has been recorded under many different variations, including Goodenough, Goodenowe, Goodenuff and others.

First found in Cumberland where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodenow research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodenow History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Goodenow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Goodenows were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Goodenow Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Edmund Goodenow, who arrived in New England in 1640
  • John Goodenow, who landed in New England in 1641
  • Thomas Goodenow, who arrived in New England in 1643

Goodenow Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Marquis Lafayette Goodenow, who landed in Canada in 1840

Goodenow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Samuel Goodenow, aged 40, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "General Hewett"

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  • John Milton Goodenow (1782-1838), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1829-1830)
  • Rufus King Goodenow (1790-1863), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine (1849-1851)
  • Robert Goodenow (1800-1874), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine (1851-1853)
  • Robert W. "Bob" Goodenow (b. 1952), American Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association in 1992


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  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Goodenow Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Goodenow Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 October 2013 at 08:43.

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