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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. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  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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