Gotfray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Gotfray came from the baptismal name for the son of Godfrey. Baptismal names were a form of patronymic surnames, and came from either the religious or vernacular given name traditions. In this case, the patronym was adopted from the personal name of the bearers father.
Early Origins of the Gotfray family
The surname Gotfray was first found in Kent. One of the first records of the name was Henricus filius Godefrid who was listed in the Pipe Rolls taken during the reign of King Henry II (1154-1189.) 
It is generally believed that he was related to William Godefridus of Normandy listed in a census there taken 1180-1198. 
However, the Godfrey variant had many early references including Godfrey the Bearded (c.?997-1069); and his son, Godfrey IV, Duke of Lower Lorraine (died 1706), known as the Hunchback who was assassinated in Vlaardingen; Godfrey of Bouillon (c. 1060-1100), a medieval Frankish knight, one of the leaders of the First Crusade, Godfrey of Cambrai, the prior of Winchester Abbey from 1082 until his death in 1107; and Godfrey (died 1088), medieval Bishop of Chichester.
"In the churchyard [of Woodford, Essex] is a splendid Corinthian column of marble, about forty feet in height, erected to the memory of the Godfrey family, which flourished many years in Kent; also a tomb with a column entirely covered with ivy, of picturesque appearance; and a remarkably fine old yew-tree." 
Early History of the Gotfray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gotfray research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1666, 1273, 1622, 1678, 1642, 1631, 1648, 1714, 1641, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Gotfray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gotfray Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Gotfray family name include Godfrey, Godfry, Godfrie, Godfree, Godfery, Godkin and many more.
Early Notables of the Gotfray family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey (1622-1678), English politician, London woodmonger and Justice of the Peace, his unsolved murder was one of the most celebrated historical mysteries; Richard Godfrey...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gotfray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gotfray family to Ireland
Some of the Gotfray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 120 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gotfray family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Gotfray surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Andrew Godfrey who settled in Barbados in 1678; Hugh Godfrey who settled in Barbados in 1663; Edward Godfrey who settled in Maine in 1630; Richard Godfrey who settled in Virginia in 1652.
Related Stories +
The Gotfray Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Deus et libertas
Motto Translation: God and liberty.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.