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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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The surname Goodnight was first found in an early record of a John Goddesknyght, who was documented during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327). It is thought that Goodnight was a nickname for a religious person, "God's servant." Although the history of this name is rather obscure, it is presumed that bearers of the name came to Britain with the invasion of Duke William of Normandy, and perhaps even offered assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Goodnight, Goddesknight, Goddesknyght and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodnight research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodnight History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Goodnight Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Goodnight Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Gerick Goodnight, a German pioneer, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1754

Goodnight Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • S. H. Goodnight, who traveled from Hamburg to Ellis Island in 1909

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  • G. Thomas Goodnight, American argumentation and rhetorical scholar
  • Veryl Goodnight (b. 1947), American sculptress
  • Isaac Herschel Goodnight (1849-1901), United States Representative from Kentucky
  • James "Jim" Goodnight (b. 1943), the CEO of SAS Institute and is recognized as the wealthiest man in the state of North Carolina and one of the wealthiest in the world
  • Clyde Davis Goodnight (1924-2002), American football end
  • Charles Goodnight (1836-1929), American cattle rancher in the American West, best known as the father of the Texas Panhandle, eponym of the panhandle town of Goodnight, Texas


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Goodnight Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Goodnight Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 7 January 2014 at 15:26.

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