Goodyear Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Goodyear Meaning
Goodyear, as its name suggests, means “good year” and was initially a
greeting like “good day” or “good bye.” Early spellings of the name
variable. In the will of Zachary Goodyeare of London, for
instance, the name was spelt in three different ways in the one
document: Goodyeare, Goodyere, and Goodyeere.

Goodyear Resources on

Goodyear Ancestry

. Early
spellings were Goodere and Goodyere, early
uncertain. One family, the
Gooderes de Pointon, dates from the 13th century and the village of
Poynton in
Cheshire. These Gooderes intermarried
with the lordly Warren family and through this association could claim
title “Lord of Poynton.”

Another Goodere
line, traced to Monken Hadley on the borders of Middlesex and
dates back to the 14th century (there is a memorial to John Goodyere
who died
in 1404 in Hadley church). Francis
Goodere of this family acquired the church lands of Polesworth in
following the dissolution of the monasteries, and built Polesworth Hall for him and
his descendants.

The line at Monken Hadley
continued and it is
believed that through these Gooderes, via Zachary Goodyere a vintner
London, came Stephen Goodyear, the emigrant to America.
Grace Goodyear
Kirkman’s 1899 book Genealogy of the Goodyear Family traced
this lineage.

The Goodyear name cropped up frequently in Yorkshire during the 19th
Yorkshire accounted for 21% of the Goodyears in the 1891 English census.

America. Stephen
one of the founders of the New Haven colony in Connecticut in

, a descendant via Theophilus Goodyear, was born in
Haven in
1800. He was the first to vulcanize rubber, a process which he
discovered in 1839 and patented in 1844. Although he died
in 1860 after collapsing on the street in New York,
his name has lived on. In 1898, almost four decades after
his death, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was founded and named
after Goodyear by Frank Seiberling. Unlike their rivals Firestone
there were no real Goodyears at the helm of this company.

Another line, via Andrew Goodyear, was to be found in upstate New
York. Here Frank Goodyear developed an extensive lumber and coal
mining business in the late 1800’s.

“To get lumber and coal to market, the
Goodyears built the Buffalo and Susquehanna
railway north from Wellsville to Buffalo. This line was completed
in 1906 and linked their lumber and coal lands to the ships at Buffalo.”

Some of these Goodyears
founded the
town of Bogalusa
in Louisiana
in 1906 by building a sawmill there. Chip Goodyear, who has worked for
the Australian
company BHP and the Singapore holding company Temasek, came from the
same Buffalo

There were also German Goodjahrs who came to America, such as Johann
Christian Goodjahr from Saxony who was in Lancaster county,
Pennsylvania by the 1740’s. Within a couple of generations
their name had changed to Goodyear.

Canada. Thomas and John
Goodyear were two brothers from Yorkshire who emigrated to Canada in
the early 1840’s. John started as a shoemaker and later became a
detective and constable in Chatham, Ontario. Thomas stayed in
Sandwich, Ontario for a while but then moved south to Detroit.


Goodyear Miscellany

Goodere Origins.  Early Gooderes
have been traced to Cheshire in the northwest and
Middlesex/Hertfordshire in
the southeast.  The following was the
explanation provided by the Rev. Frederick Cass:

Gooderes came originally from Cumberland, close to the Scotch
border, settled at Monken Hadley and remained connected with it for two
three centuries. They afterward became widely scattered throughout the
under the names Goodere, Goodier, Goodair, Goodyer, Goodyere,
Goodyeare and Goodyear.” 

The Henry Gooderes of Polesworth Hall.  In 1571
Henry Goodere was imprisoned in the Tower of London.  His
association with Mary Queen of Scots
during her internment in Coventry had brought him under suspicion of
against Queen Elizabeth I. However,
Henry successfully protested his innocence and he was released in 1572.
He was
subsequently knighted and in 1588 promoted to colonel in the Queen’s

second Henry Goodere was made “one
of the Gentlemen of his Majesty’s Privy Chamber” by James I and was
knighted in 1603.  He was a close friend of
the poet John Donne aqnd was supportive of other poets and playwrights.  However, his lifestyle proved to be
extravagant and ultimately unsupportable.  He
died at Polesworth in 1627 almost penniless.

Stephen Goodyear of New Haven.  On the back of a descendant’s gravestones, there is the following

“Stephen Goodyear, a
merchant of London, came to New Haven in 1638, was chosen magistrate
and Deputy
Governor of the colony and thereafter till his death at London in 1658.  He was the ancestor of all in America who
bear his name.”

fact he probably died
at sea on the passage to England.  He
owned a vessel, the Saint John, and
was licensed to carry passengers between England and America.

was also part of the company called the
Ship Fellowship of New Haven which built the phantom ship that left New
Haven harbor
in January 1646 for London and was never heard from again.  His
first wife Mary
was lost on that ship.  Stephen married Margaret, the
widowed wife
of the captain of the ship, two years later.

Charles Goodyear and His Rubber Invention.  The “rubber fever” of the early 1830’s had
ended as suddenly as it had begun.  At
first everybody had wanted things made of the new waterproof gum from
Brazil.  Factories sprang up to meet the
demand.  Then abruptly the public had
become fed up
with the messy stuff which froze bone-hard in winter and turned
glue-like in
summer.  Not one of the young rubber
companies survived as long as five years.  Investors
lost millions.  Rubber, everyone agreed,
was through in

But Charles Goodyear did not
agree.  He persisted in his experiments
to make rubber viable.  However, after
five futile years, he was near rock bottom.  Farmers
around Woburn, Massachusetts where he lived
gave his children milk and let them dig half-grown potatoes for food.

great discovery came in the winter of
1839.  Goodyear was using sulfur in his
experiments now.  Although Goodyear
himself has left the details in doubt, the most persistent story is
that one
February day he wandered into Woburn’s general store to show off his
gum-and-sulfur formula.  Snickers rose
from the cracker-barrel forum and the usually mild-mannered little
inventor got
excited, waved his sticky fistful of gum in the air.  It
flew from his fingers and landed on the
sizzling-hot potbellied stove.

When he
bent to scrape it off, he found that instead of melting like molasses,
it had
charred like leather. And around the
charred area was a dry, springy brown rim – “gum elastic” still, but
so remarkably altered that it was virtually a new substance.  He had made weatherproof rubber.

did not profit greatly from his invention
during his lifetime.  When he died in New
York in 1860
he was $200,000 in debt.  Eventually,
however, accumulated royalties made his family comfortable.  His son Charles – inheriting something more
precious, inventive talent, – later built a small fortune on shoemaking

The Goodyears of Bogalusa, Louisiana.  Two brothers
from Buffalo, New York – Charles W. Goodyear and Frank H. Goodyear –
erected a sawmill
on the Bogue Lusa creek in Washington parish, Louisiana in 1906.
Two year later the Great Southern Lumber Company started
operating and
was to do so for the next thirty years.  It
was for many years the largest sawmill in the world.

The Bogalusa township sprung up as the
Goodyears built houses for their workers.
Four generations of Goodyears lived in Bogalusa.
Their story was told in C.W. Goodyear’s 1950
book Bogalusa Story. 


Goodyear Names

  • Stephen Goodyear was one of the founders of the New Haven colony in 1638.
  • Charles Goodyear discovered and patented the process for vulcanizing rubber in the 1840’s.
  • Julie Goodyear is well-known on
    British TV as the actress playing Bet Lynch in Coronation Street.

Select Goodyear Numbers Today

  • 3,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Kent)
  • 1,000 in America (most numerous in Pennsylvania)
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)



Select Goodyear and Like Surnames.

From our selection, these are the surnames of those who have made their business mark in America – as pioneers, inventors, developers, or corporate leaders – over its long history from colonial to modern times.






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