Goodknow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Goodknow is mistakenly thought to be given to a person who was easily satisfied or whose achievements "good enough." 
"The original bearer was perhaps a sufficiently worthy fellow."  Another source claims the name was a local name derived from "Godin," the name of the first settler of an area and "hough, haugh" or "how" which meant a hill or mound. 
Early Origins of the Goodknow family
The surname Goodknow was first found in Yorkshire where the Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Radulphus Godenogh; Johannes Godynogh; and Robertus Gudynegh as all holding lands there at that time. 
While the lion's share of the family hailed from here there was one lone listing in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Kent. Geoffrey Godynogh was listed there at that time. 
Early History of the Goodknow family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodknow research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1686, 1682, 1689, 1743, 1827, 1743, 1750, 1786, 1845, 1830, 1875, 1830 and 1844 are included under the topic Early Goodknow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Goodknow Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Goodenough, Goodenowe, Goodenuff and others.
Early Notables of the Goodknow family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Goodenough (fl. 1686), English conspirator, an attorney of bad repute, who contrived nevertheless to obtain the under-sheriffdom of London, which he held in turn with his brother Francis for some years. "In July 1682 the justices of the peace fined him 100l. because he refused to alter the panel as they pleased at the sessions at Hicks's Hall. He was to have appeared along with Grey on 7 May 1689 as a witness against John Charlton, also charged with high treason against Charles II, but both had the good sense to keep...
Migration of the Goodknow family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Goodknow name or one of its variants: Richard Goodenough, who settled in New England in 1686; Anne Goodenowe, wife of Edmund, mother of John and Thomas, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1638.