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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

The ancestors of the Gothard family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Gothard is based on the Germanic personal name Godhard, which is composed of the elements god, which means good, and hard, which means brave or strong.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gothard include Goddard, Goddart, Godard, Godart, Godarte, Godert, Godderd and many more.

First found in Wiltshire where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gothard research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1200, 1208, 1221, 1299, 1617 and 1675 are included under the topic Early Gothard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gothard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Gothards to arrive on North American shores:

Gothard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Johann Gothard, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804

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  • Steve Gothard, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Idaho 1st District, 2002
  • Arthur Gothard, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1956
  • Mr. Edwin Gothard (1908-1941), Australian Acting Petty Officer Telegraphist from South Caulfield, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking


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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: Cervus non servus
Motto Translation: A stag not enslaved.

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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Gothard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gothard 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 23 October 2015 at 10:54.

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