Show ContentsGudnow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Gudnow is mistakenly thought to be given to a person who was easily satisfied or whose achievements "good enough." [1]

"The original bearer was perhaps a sufficiently worthy fellow." [2] Another source claims the name was a local name derived from "Godin," the name of the first settler of an area and "hough, haugh" or "how" which meant a hill or mound. [3]

Early Origins of the Gudnow family

The surname Gudnow was first found in Yorkshire where the Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Radulphus Godenogh; Johannes Godynogh; and Robertus Gudynegh as all holding lands there at that time. [3]

While the lion's share of the family hailed from here there was one lone listing in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 in Kent. Geoffrey Godynogh was listed there at that time. [4]

Early History of the Gudnow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gudnow research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1686, 1682, 1689, 1743, 1827, 1743, 1750, 1786, 1845, 1830, 1875, 1830 and 1844 are included under the topic Early Gudnow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gudnow Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Gudnow were recorded, including Goodenough, Goodenowe, Goodenuff and others.

Early Notables of the Gudnow family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Goodenough (fl. 1686), English conspirator, an attorney of bad repute, who contrived nevertheless to obtain the under-sheriffdom of London, which he held in turn with his brother Francis for some years. "In July 1682 the justices of the peace fined him 100l. because he refused to alter the panel as they pleased at the sessions at Hicks's Hall. He was to have appeared along with Grey on 7 May 1689 as a witness against John Charlton, also charged with high treason against Charles II, but both had the good sense to keep...
Another 160 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gudnow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gudnow family

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Gudnow arrived in North America very early: Richard Goodenough, who settled in New England in 1686; Anne Goodenowe, wife of Edmund, mother of John and Thomas, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1638.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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