Select Goodwin/Godwin Miscellany
- Famous Godwins
- Reader Feedback - Godwin not Goodwin
- Early Godwins as Surnames
- Early Goodwin Marriages in Norfolk
- Reader Feedback - Goodwins in Bedfordshire
- George Goodwin and Lady Charlotte Radcliffe
- Goodwins and Godwins
- William Goodwin of Earl Soham and His Diary
- Goodwin Neck in Virginia
- The Goodwin Mansion and Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Eli Goodwin in Saskatchewan
Saint Godwin of Stavelot was a Benedictine abbot at the
monastery of Stavelot-Malmedy in Belgium. He died in 690.
His feast day is October 28. Godwin (or Godwine) was the Bishop
of Lichfield around 1010. But the most famous Godwin, who emerged
a little later, was the Godwin, son of Wulnoth, who became the Earl of
Godwin had risen from the lower ranks of the Anglo Saxon aristocracy to become a favorite of the king, Canute, who made him Earl of Wessex in 1018. He survived Canute's death in 1035 and emerged as a kingmaker, resisting the Norman incursions, in the subsequent reigns of Harold Harefoot, Harthacanute, and Edward the Confessor. Godwin died in 1053 and his mantle passed onto his son Harold Godwinson and his feuding siblings. Harold, the last Anglo Saxon king of England, held the crown for just nine months before being famously killed by an arrow in the eye at the Battle of Hastings.
Frank Barlow's 2003 book The
Godwins: The Rise and Fall of a Noble Dynasty tracks the history
of this feuding family that, but for Hastings, might have created an
Anglo Saxon dynasty in England.
Reader Feedback - Godwin not Goodwin
noticed your site doesn’t
have the Saxon surname Godwin in the list, only the derivative Goodwin. Goodwin was used long after Godwin in early
England. Godwin shows up centuries
earlier than Goodwin. Because the “God-“
portion of the surname was pronounced in Saxon like “Good-,” and
people back then were illiterate, the erroneous spelling of Goodwin
and has been interspersed within Godwin families throughout time.
myself am a Godwin, a direct descendant of
Lord Hugh Godwin of Godwin’s Bower who was born around 1300. He was my 18th great grandfather.
Tony Godwin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Early Godwins as Surnames
Early Goodwin Marriages in
Reader Feedback - Goodwins
My surname is Goodwin. My family’s is the oldest grave in the churchyard in Great Barford in Bedfordshire, dating back to 1642. It is along with the Pitts family the oldest family name in the village. I would add that the graveyard is on its "second usage" for want of better words.
The vicar in the 1960 traced our family tree back even further to Norman times using the Domesday Book. The name has changed from Godwin, Godwyng, Goodwine, and Goodwing to Goodwin. The oldest part of the church dates back to 1066. Apparently there are cottages in the village built with beams from the ships that came up the river Ouse.
Trevor Goodwin (email@example.com)
George Goodwin and Lady Charlotte Radcliffe
In 1747 Lady Charlotte Radcliffe, when 18 years of
age, was married in Scotland to George Goodwin who was descended from
Derbyshire family and was a native of Bradwell in the parish of Hope in
Here the trouble began. George Goodwin was a Protestant and his wife a Catholic, yet they were devoted to each other. The couple made their home at Bradwell in a cottage in Hugh Lane. But the aristocratic young bride, having married a Protestant, became alienated from her family and was anathematised by them.
Tragedy followed. In early 1749 there was born to them a son - their only child. This son was named George after his father. But George the father lived only eight years after his child was born for he died in 1757. Differences then arose as to the religious training of the child. At the father's death the child was adopted by its uncle who resided in Bradwell. His mother left the area, re-entered the Roman Catholic Church “suffering great mental and pecuniary distress” under her maiden name until her death in 1800.
What of the child - the Hon. George Goodwin? His uncle Birley was his Protestant guardian. He married in Yorkshire but he had to fight the battle of life “in obscurity and poverty.” In late life George and his wife entered the Shrewsbury almshouses at Sheffield, where he died in 1835 at the age of eighty six.
Goodwins and Godwins
UK. The following was the geographic distribution of Goodwins and Godwins at the time of the 1891 UK census:
1891 Census (numbers)
The main cluster of Godwins were in the west country, in
Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire.
US. The US showed the following distribution of Goodwins and Godwins at the time of its 1920 census.
1920 Census (numbers)
Here there were some Godwin clusters, most conspicuously
in North Carolina and in nearby southern states.
Australia. The following were the results from Australia, from a smaller sample. The numbers here come from the various Goodwins and Godwins recorded as incoming convicts and immigrants in the 19th century.
|As assisted immigrants
If statistics mean anything, then the Godwins were the
more criminally minded. However, the overall totals probably
underestimate the Godwin share.
Wiiliam Goodwin of Earl Soham and His Diary
William Goodwin of Street Farm in Earl Soham, Suffolk was
a surgeon who kept a diary between the years of 1785 and
Earl Soham at that time was a smuggling place and Goodwin
would meticulously record the contraband passing from Sizewell
- in the summer of 1785, for instance, he noted that, in less than a week, twenty carts had passed through,
carrying 2,500 gallons of spirits;
- in February of the same year, five carts carrying 600 gallons passed in the course of just one morning;.
- on the 23rd of February, though, the smugglers were not so lucky and they lost six carts loaded with
spirits to the preventive services.
This extract in 1789 commented on the cold winter that
"January 11, 1789. The severe frost with deep snow
still continues. The Thames above Putney has stalls and public
diversions exhibiting on it daily. The drought has lasted so long
and the springs so frozen up that water is sold by the pail in Norwich
and by the pint in some places. The game are in distress.
Uncommonly a hare took refuge in a copper hole and a partridge in my
house. Another was unable to fly and brought in."
Goodwin Neck in Virginia
One of the most beautiful spots in the Tidewater area of
Virginia is the ancestral home of the Goodwin family. Goodwin
Neck encompasses the present village of Dandy, located in York county
near to historical Yorktown. The area was part of the land
granted to John Chew in 1636 and then sold by his heirs to James
Goodwin in 1668.
James Goodwin, the son of a salt merchant in London, came
to Virginia in 1650. He farmed mainly corn and tobacco on this
1,200 acre site. He was also a magistrate in York county, a
speaker in the House of Burgesses, and a major in the militia. He
married, the story goes, a sickly woman, the last of the maidens
brought to the colony to be taken as wives.
Goodwin and his wife Rachel raised five sons and two
daughters before she died in 1666 at the age of 36. He
subsequently married an Elizabeth who inherited the estate on his
death. The Goodwin homestead was an imposing two-storey structure
facing Goodwin Island on the Thorofare. People continued to
remember the house long after it was torn down in the early 1900's.
The Goodwin Mansion and Park in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Most people get confused at this point in the story because the stately Goodwin Mansion no longer looks out over Goodwin Park. There's a one-story brick furniture store there now. The historic house was transported to Strawbery Banke Museum on the other side of town in 1963. Built during the War of 1812, this Federalist building in all its gubernatorial splendor has been preserved for public viewing at its new location. Good for the South End, but not so good for the once exclusive tree-lined Islington Street.
On July 4 1888, Mayor Eldrege erected his 42-foot Civil War statue in the new Goodwin Park. Ichabod Goodwin's face was hastily designed into the monument, with the obligatory relief of Abraham Lincoln on the other side. The town turned out in full for the inaugural celebrations, with an estimated 5,000 outsiders coming in by trains that ran hours late.
Eli Goodwin in Saskatchewan
Eli was the first of the Goodwin family to leave Ontario and take up the Government's offer of free land grants for all those willing to take up the challenge of homesteading in this vast prairie land. It was prior to 1909 that Eli set off from Palmerston in Ontario to Colgate in Saskatchewan where he filed for his homestead.
He relied on the mercy of his neighbors to aid him in getting his land broke by using their oxen and implements. Gradually he was able to buy his own oxen and later these were replaced by mules and then by beautiful horses. He did not receive a formal education. So he surrounded himself with maths and literature books. One of his accomplishments was the memorizing of Rudyard Kipling's poem If.
After eighteen years of living alone and at the age of 47, he married Beryl Waldon in the fall of 1927. They had four children.