Show ContentsGooderham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gooderham surname is thought to derive from an Old Norse personal name and literally means "battle-snake." [1]

The family claim descent from Guthrum or Guthorm (d. 890), one of the Danish leaders which, encamping near Reading in 871, waged a stubborn warfare with King AEthelred and his successor AElfred throughout that year and the next. He "attacked Northumbria in 873; conquered Mercia in 874 ; and in the spring of 875 split into two divisions, one of which returned with Halfdene to Northumbria, while the other, led by 'the three kings Guthorm, Oskytel, and Amund,' marched from Repton to Cambridge, and thence in 876 sailed round the coast to Wareham." [2]

Early Origins of the Gooderham family

The surname Gooderham was first found in Lincolnshire where Gerard filius Gudram, Guðram was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1201. One year later, Brictiua filia Guderam was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1202 in the same county. [1]

Guderam Gleve was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1283; Hugh Godrum in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1260; and Thomas Guderam, Godram in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk 1283, 1327. [1]

One source notes a very different origin that any of the aforementioned. We do not agree, but we are including it as the source is a reputable one.

"If the reader will repeat to himself Goodgroom several times he will see, in default of a local origin, that Gooderham was an inevitable corruption. This view is strongly sustained by the fact that there are no Goodgrooms in our directories, which for so popular a nickname would be curious if no corruptions existed." [3]

Continuing this postulation, he notes that following entries in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: Symon Godegrom, Sussex; and Robert le Godegrom, Huntingdonshire. [3]

In Somerset, Robert Godgrom and John le Godegrom were listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [4]

Early History of the Gooderham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gooderham research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1283, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Gooderham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gooderham Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gooderham, Goderham, Goodram, Goodrum, Gudram, Gudderham, Guderam and many more.

Early Notables of the Gooderham family

More information is included under the topic Early Gooderham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gooderham migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gooderham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Gooderham, who settled in America in 1741
  • Henry Gooderham and Mary Gooderham, bonded passengers, who settled in America in 1758

Canada Gooderham migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gooderham Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Gooderham, who was on record in the census of Ontario, Canada of 1871

Contemporary Notables of the name Gooderham (post 1700) +

  • William Gooderham Sr. (1790-1881), English-born, Canadian distiller, businessman, and banker, founder of the Gooderham and Worts distillery, Toronto, progenitor of the family in Canada, he immigrated to York, Upper Canada (now Toronto), in 1832
  • Peter Olaf Gooderham (b. 1954), British diplomat, British Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva (2008–2012)
  • Hector Gooderham (1901-1977), Scottish Episcopalian priest, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh (1949-1956)
  • George Horace Gooderham (1868-1942), Canadian businessman and politician, Ontario MPP (1914-1919)
  • Norman William "Bill" Gooderham (1919-1979), Canadian sailor who competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics in the Star class and at the 1952 Summer Olympics in the 6 meter category and finished seventh-eights
  • Sir Albert Gooderham (1861-1935), Canadian distiller and financier, soldier, and philanthropist, born in Toronto, grandson of William Gooderham, a founder of the Gooderham and Worts distillery
  • Dean Gooderham Acheson (1893-1971), U.S. Secretary of State in the Truman Administration and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, great grandson of William Gooderham Sr. (1790-1881), founder of Gooderham and Worts distillery, Toronto

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. 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. on Facebook