Show ContentsGoodyer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Goodyer reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Goodyer family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Goodyer is based on the given names Gudhir, or Gudvar, which were popular medieval names of Germanic origin. [1]

Another source notes that the name could have originated from the Middle English goodyeare, goodier, goodere, goodye(e)re meaning 'good year', as in "an expletive used in questions, 'What the good year?' Possibly elliptic for 'as I hope to have a good year' " [2]

The Domesday Book of 1086 has the first record of the family as Godere and Goderus (Latin). [3]

Early Origins of the Goodyer family

The surname Goodyer was first found in Huntingdonshire, where the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Cest' Godyer. [4]

"Goodyear, which is now a Lincolnshire name, was represented 600 years ago by Godyer in the adjacent county of Huntingdonshire." [5]

John Godeyer, was listed in the Close Rolls, 10 Richard II (during the tenth year of Richard II's reign.)

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Goddeyere; Simon Godeycre, smyth; and Willelmus Godcyere as all holding lands there at that time. [4]

Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) the American inventor and patent holder of vulcanized rubber was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His father was a descendant of Stephen Goodyear (c. 1598-1658) born in London, who emigrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration.

Early History of the Goodyer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Goodyer research. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1295, 1285, 1301, 1296, 1301, 1327, 1456, 1467, 1513, 1566, 1682, 1327, 1500, 1613, 1626, 1627, 1636, 1600, 1592, 1664, 1687, 1741, 1708, 1705, 1718, 1719, 1719 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Goodyer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Goodyer Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Goodyer are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Goodyer include Goodyear, Goodier and others.

Early Notables of the Goodyer family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Goodyer (1592-1664), a 17th century botanist who was known as "the ablest Herbalist now living in England." Samuel Goodere (1687-1741), was an English captain in the navy, the third and youngest son of Sir Edward Goodere, bart., of Burhope in Herefordshire, by his wife, daughter and heiress of Sir Edward Dineley, bart., of Charleton in Worcestershire, and on the mother's side granddaughter of Lewis Watson, first lord Rockingham. The eldest son having been killed in a duel, the second son, John Dineley, who had been brought up at sea in the merchant service...
Another 182 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Goodyer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Goodyer migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Goodyer, or a variant listed above:

Goodyer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nancie Goodyer, aged 7, who immigrated to the United States from London, in 1898
Goodyer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frederick Harry Goodyer, aged 45, who landed in America from Nottingham, England in 1903
  • Annie Goodyer, aged 12, who immigrated to the United States from Nottingham, in 1905
  • Bessie Goodyer, aged 10, who settled in America from Nottingham, in 1905
  • Eliz. Goodyer, aged 42, who immigrated to the United States from Nottingham, in 1905
  • Alfred Percy Goodyer, aged 8, who settled in America from Brighton, England, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Goodyer migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Goodyer Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Ambrose E. Goodyer, aged 28, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1920

Australia Goodyer migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Goodyer Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Goodyer, (b. 1823), aged 16, English farm labourer who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for life for highway robbery, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1908 [6]
  • Amos Goodyer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [7]
  • Elizabeth Goodyer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Goodyer (post 1700) +

  • Robin Goodyer (b. 1951), English cricketer
  • Arthur Copeland Goodyer (1853-1932), English international footballer
  • Paula Goodyer (b. 1947), Australian freelance journalist, author and health writer, recipient of the Walkley Award (1992)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Joseph Clement Goodyer (1892-1939), British Chief Petty Officer Cook (O) with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [8]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from
  8. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook