Gotfrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Gotfrey is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes 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 Gotfrey family
The surname Gotfrey 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 Gotfrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gotfrey 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 Gotfrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gotfrey Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Gotfrey has undergone many spelling variations, including Godfrey, Godfry, Godfrie, Godfree, Godfery, Godkin and many more.
Early Notables of the Gotfrey 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 Gotfrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gotfrey family to Ireland
Some of the Gotfrey 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 Gotfrey family
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gotfrey were among those contributors: 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 Gotfrey 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.