Goodley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Goodley family

The surname Goodley was first found in Cheshire at Godley, a township, in the parish of Mottramin-Longdendale, union of Ashton-under-Lyne, hundred of Macclesfield. "Godley is a variant of Godelegh, the name of the possessors of the place in the reign of John: the manor was afterwards held by the Baguleys, who purchased of the Godleys in 1319. [1]

"There is also a Hundred of Godley in Surrey." [2]

One of the first record may have been of the "the family of De Godlee were resident temp. Edward I." [3]

East Cheshire rolls include: Robert de Godelegh, 1294; Henry de Godelegh, 1299; William de Godeleeh, 1349; and Gilbert de Godelegh, 1349. [4]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Willelmus de Godlay, 1379; and Cecilia de Godelay, 1379 as holding lands there at that time. [4]

Early History of the Goodley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodley research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1294, 1775, 1639, 1579, 1611, 1847, 1932, 1909, 1849, 1925, 1172 and 1800 are included under the topic Early Goodley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goodley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Godley, Godlee, Godlie, Godly, Godleigh, Godlay, Godelay, Godelegh, Goodleigh, Goodley, Goodlay, Goodlie, Goodlee, Godby, Godbey and many more.

Early Notables of the Goodley family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include the two baronetcies. John Arthur Godley, 1st Baron Kilbracken GCB (1847-1932), was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat and British civil servant. Barons Kilbracken (1909)...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Goodley family to Ireland

Some of the Goodley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Goodley migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Goodley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Goodley, who settled in Virginia in 1773
  • John Goodley, aged 23, who arrived in Virginia in 1773 [5]

New Zealand Goodley 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:

Goodley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Goodley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1881
  • Joseph Goodley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1881
  • George Goodley, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1881


The Goodley 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: Sans Dieu rien
Motto Translation: Without God, nothing.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ 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)


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