Goodner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Goodner is mistakenly thought to be given to a person who was easily satisfied or whose achievements "good enough." [1]

"The original bearer was perhaps a sufficiently worthy fellow." [2] 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. [3]

Early Origins of the Goodner family

The surname Goodner 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. [3]

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. [4]

Early History of the Goodner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodner 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 Goodner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goodner Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Goodenough, Goodenowe, Goodenuff and others.

Early Notables of the Goodner 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...
Another 160 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodner Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Goodner migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Goodner or a variant listed above:

Goodner Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Goodner, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [5]
Goodner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A. L. Goodner, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1895
Goodner Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Arthur B. Goodner, aged 46, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Vinnie Goodner, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1912

Contemporary Notables of the name Goodner (post 1700) +

  • Lillian Goodner (1896-1994), born Lillian Paige, an African American blues singer
  • John Goodner (1944-2005), American college football coach
  • Carol Goodner (1904-2001), American-born, British actress, active from 1929 to 1957
  • Michael Goodner (1953-1968), Puerto Rican swimmer at the 1968 Summer Olympics
  • Gary Goodner (1950-1968), Puerto Rican swimmer at the 1968 Summer Olympics


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. 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. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  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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