Goodspeed History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient history of the name Goodspeed dates back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name given to a person who performed good deeds or acts of kindness. [1]

Another source claims the name was noting a "descendant of Goda or Gode (good), which is also the first element in many names such as Godmund, Godric and Godwine. In these names it often refers to God; occasionally it refers to the good man." [2]

And yet another source claims the name was originally Norman as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Alyered and Ralph Godes of Normandy in 1198. [3]

Early Origins of the Goodspeed family

The surname Goodspeed was first found in Kent, Sussex and Wiltshire, where the name God was found in the Domesday Book. [4] [5]

Other early records include Gilbert le Gode in the Curia Regis Rolls for Berkshire in 1212; Robert Gode in the Assize Rolls of Gloucester of 1221; and Thomas le Goude in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex of 1327. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included the family entries as both a forename and a surname: Goda Herrt, 1273; William filius Gode; Goda Poggel; Norman filius Gode; Goda de Castre. Interesting no county entries were provided with these. [6]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Hugo Gud; Cecilia Gud; Robertus Godde and Elena uxor ejus; and Willelmus Gude. [6]

In Somerset, Richard le Gode was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [7]

Further to the north in Scotland, entries were quite late: "George Gude and Mariota Hommyll, his spouse, are mentioned in 1517. Thomas Gude, was bailie of Lowdoun, Ayr, 1533. John Gwid, mason, was builder of the tower of Pollok, 1536, and John Gud held a tenement in Glasgow, 1555." [8]

Early History of the Goodspeed family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodspeed research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1402, 1537, 1561, 1636, 1648, 1893, 1600, 1527, 1581, 1576, 1638, 1671, 1609, 1678, 1616, 1689, 1692 and 1607 are included under the topic Early Goodspeed History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goodspeed Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Goodspeed include Good, Goode, Goad, Goade, Gudd, Gude, Legood and many more.

Early Notables of the Goodspeed family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: James Good (c. 1527-1581), a London physician; Thomas Goad (1576-1638), an English clergyman, controversial writer, and rector of Hadleigh, Suffolk; George Goad (died 1671), Master of Eton College; Thomas Good (Goode), (1609-1678), an English academic and clergyman, and Master of Balliol College, Oxford; John Goad (1616-1689)...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodspeed Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Goodspeed family to Ireland

Some of the Goodspeed family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Goodspeed family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Goodspeed or a variant listed above: John Goad, age 18, who came to Virginia in 1635; Thomas Goad, age 15, who arrived in Boston Massachusetts in 1635; Robert Good, who settled in Massachusetts in 1646.


Contemporary Notables of the name Goodspeed (post 1700) +

  • Edgar Johnson Goodspeed (1871-1962), American liberal theologian and scholar of Greek
  • Joseph Allen "Joey" Goodspeed (b. 1978), American professional football player
  • William J. Goodspeed, American Republican politician, Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1915; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1916 [9]
  • James Goodspeed, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Joliet, Illinois, 1871-79 [9]
  • Henry S. Goodspeed, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 1st District, 1909-10 [9]
  • Francis Goodspeed, American politician, Mayor of Joliet, Illinois, 1859-61; Delegate to Illinois State Constitutional Convention Will, DuPage, Kankakee and Iroquois counties, 1862 [9]
  • C. B. Goodspeed, American Republican politician, Treasurer of Republican National Committee, 1937 [9]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  8. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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