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


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 at Berwick-Bassett, a parish, in the union of Marlborough, hundred of Calne, Marlborough and Ramsbury. "The ancient manorhouse [of Berwick-Bassett], many ages since the residence of the Goddard family, is still remaining." [1]


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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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. 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. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  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 16 March 2016 at 14:55.

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