Govier History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished English surname Govier is thought to be derived from the Old English nickname "Gofair," meaning "one who goes gently or quietly." It is likely that the name was initially bestowed as a nickname during the Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Govier family

The surname Govier was first found in Oxfordshire, where the Govier family was anciently seated as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066; the language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. Many Anglo-Saxon surnames survived, however, and the Old English name Govier was first referenced in the year 1223, when Gilbert Gofar was registered in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire.

Early History of the Govier family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Govier research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1240 is included under the topic Early Govier History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Govier Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gover, Gofer, Gofair, Gopher, Govere, Govier and many more.

Early Notables of the Govier family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Govier Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Govier migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Govier Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anthony Govier, a bonded emigrant who arrived in Maryland in 1737

Canada Govier migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Govier Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Richard Govier, who was living in Ontario in 1871

Australia Govier migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Govier Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Fanny Govier, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lady Macdonald" [1]

New Zealand Govier migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Govier Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Maud M. Govier, (b. 1865), aged 18, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Westland" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 3rd October 1883 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Govier (post 1700) +

  • Sheldon Govier (1883-1948), Scottish-born, American soccer center halfback, member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame
  • Sheldon W. Govier, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1936 (alternate), 1940 [3]
  • Stephen Govier (b. 1952), retired English professional footballer from Watford
  • James Henry Govier (1910-1974), British painter and etcher from Oakley, Buckinghamshire
  • Katherine Mary Govier (b. 1948), Canadian novelist from Edmonton, Alberta
  • Harry Govier Seeley (1839-1909), British paleontologist


  1. ^ South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lady Macdonald 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/ladymacdonald1855.shtml
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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