Goodger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Goodger 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 Goodger family

The surname Goodger 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.

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. He also notes that 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 Goodger family

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

Goodger Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Goodger family (pre 1700)

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


New Zealand Goodger migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Goodger Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Phoebe Goodger (Goodyer), (b. 1858), aged infant, English settler from Sussex travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Goodger (Goodyer), (b. 1814), aged 44, English cab driver from Sussex travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Ann Goodger (Goodyer), (b. 1822), aged 36, English settler from Sussex travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]
  • Miss Mary Ann Goodger (Goodyer), (b. 1844), aged 14, English settler from Sussex travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]
  • Mr. Matiora Goodger (Goodyer), (b. 1850), aged 8, English settler from Sussex travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st September 1858 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Goodger (post 1700) +

  • Lauren Rose Goodger (b. 1986), English television personality and glamour model
  • Eddie Goodger (b. 1929), former Australian rules footballer who played for Fitzroy (1949-1958)
  • Ben Goodger, British software engineer, former lead developer of the Firefox web browse

HMS Cornwall
  • Charles Edward Goodger (d. 1942), British Leading Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [6]


  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.
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A


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