Show ContentsGouldwel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gouldwel is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Essex at Goldwell in Horndon on the Hill. The surname Gouldwel is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Gouldwel family

The surname Gouldwel was first found in Essex where Nicholas Goldewell was listed as holding lands in 1478. 1

James Goldwell (d. 1499), was Bishop of Norwich, "son of William and Avice Goldwell, born at Great Chart, Kent, on the manor which had belonged to his family since the days of Sir John Goldwell, a soldier in the reign of King John. During his long life Goldwell received constant preferment in the church, and was employed on political missions by Edward IV. He was admitted rector of St. John the Evangelist's, London, 20 May 1455, but resigned this living the same year on being transferred to Rivenhall, Essex. He died 15 February 1499. Thomas Goldwell, Bishop of St. Asaph, was his great-great-nephew." 2

Early History of the Gouldwel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gouldwel research. Another 66 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1472, 1499, 1507, 1532, 1559 and 1585 are included under the topic Early Gouldwel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gouldwel Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Gouldwel are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. 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. The variations of the name Gouldwel include: Goldwell, Gouldwell and others.

Early Notables of the Gouldwel family

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Goldwell (d. 1585), Bishop of St. Asaph, "a member of a family living long before his time at the manor of Goldwell in the parish of Great Chart in Kent, where he was probably born. His father's name seems to have been William Goldwell. His mother was still alive in 1532. He...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gouldwel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gouldwel family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Gouldwel or a variant listed above: Ann Goldwell who settled in Virginia in 1635; Henry Gouldwell settled in Virginia in 1623.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook