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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Goodnight family come from? What is the English Goodnight family crest and coat of arms? When did the Goodnight family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Goodnight family history?

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

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.


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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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  • 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
  • Clyde Davis Goodnight (1924-2002), American football end
  • 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
  • Isaac Herschel Goodnight (1849-1901), United States Representative from Kentucky
  • Veryl Goodnight (b. 1947), American sculptress
  • G. Thomas Goodnight, American argumentation and rhetorical scholar


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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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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