Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Goff Name
England, with French, Cornish and Breton origins
Origins of Name:
The surname of Goff can be derived from Old English, French, and Celtic origins. The first possible origin is that it derives from the Old English pre seventh century word “gobha” or the Cornish words “gov” or the Breton word “gof” which all means a blacksmith, or one who blacksmiths. It is possible that this word comes from the East Anglian region, after being introduced in Brittany by the followers of Duke William of Normandy, wither during or shortly after the Conquest of 1066. Another conceivable derivative of the surname Goff is from the Welsh word “coch” which means red, which was normally given to a redhead, or someone with red hair. The third potential derivative is from the French name Geoffrey, which was also introduced into the British Isles after the year 1066. Another possible translation of the name is from Gaelic personal name, Eochaidh, or Eachaidh. This name is patronymic, and literally translates to horseman. Surnames at this time were recorded largely by priests and other individuals who were believed to be literate, but the people who had the surname Goff were often unsure how to spell their own surnames. This, in part, is why these surnames of Goff, and others, have variations in spelling, aside from the fact that they are derived from different languages.
More common variations are:
Goff, Geoff, Goeff, Goffe, Gough, Gaugh, Goffi, Goffo, Goffa, Gouff, Gooff, Ghoff, Gaoff, Gof,
The very first recorded spelling of this surname was Bertram Goffe, who in 1208 was named in the Fines Court Rolls of Lincolnshire, which occurred during the reign of King John, who ruled from the year 1199 to 1216. Soon after, many variations of the Goff surname were recorded in history. Geoff, Goeffe, Gough, and very similar others were shown on scrolls and rolls around the English countryside, as well as becoming prevalent in France and Wales. The next concrete mention of someone with this surname was Stephen Goffe, which was also spelled Gough, who lived from the year 1605 to the year 1681, and was a Divine and Poet DD. Oxford.
It has been said that very few surnames are actually native to Wales, but for the few surnames that can actually be credited to Wales, there are many variations due to both spelling and location. In the Middle Ages, the lack of literacy determined that recorded surnames would vary in spelling, and often are changed to reflect the dialect of a particular county, or area of land. The language of Wales was Brythonic Celtic, which is where the “coch” which was spelled phonetically as “gough” or those with red hair, derivative came from. Welsh words were often changed when someone moved or was forced to migrate to England, because the native language didn’t copy well, leaving room for variations in spelling, and pronunciation.
The Goughs who herald from Steeple Barton in Oxfordshire were known as one of the oldest landed families in that county.
Goff and Gough came to Ireland from Wales. The surnames arrived with the name Coch which means ‘red’. They would eventually settle in Dublin County and Waterford County. Still today, the majority of descendants from this family line can be found today.
United States 38,087
South Africa 584
Robert Lamar Goff (born in 1965) NFL (National Football League) player who played from the years 1988 to 1996 from America
Nathan Goff Jr. (1843-1920) who was a member of Congress from West Virginia, and an American politician
Mr. George Henry Goff, who sailed into battle on the HMS Price of Wales, and was able to survive the sinking, also was a British Petty Officer during this time, and during the sinking
Sir Park Goff KC (1871-1939) Member of Parliament for Cleveland between the years of 1918 and 1923, and served again between the years of 1924 and 1929, Also served as a Member of Parliament for Chatham between the years of 1931 and 1935, also served as the Registrar of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor between the years of 1908 and 1911, was also a 1st Baronet
Philip Bruce Goff (born in 1953) who was the 32nd Leader of the Opposition from 2008 and 2011, the 35th Minister of Defense from 2005 and 2008, New Zealand politician
Robert Lionel Archibald Goff PC, DCL, and FBA (born in 1926) who was a retired British Judge, Baron Goff of Chieveley
Miss Agnes Goff (1887-1914) who was the Canadian Third Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who died in the sinking of the Empress of Ireland on May 29, 1914
Stan Goff (born 1951) writer and activist from America
Bruce Alonzo Goff (1904-1982) architect from America
Goff Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Goff blazon are the annulet, fleur-de-lis, lion and squirrel. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and or.
The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli . Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose xz`, and the annulet is a good example, being a circular ring of any colour. They also appear interlaced or one within the other, both of which are very pleasing additions. Wade believes that these were one of the symbols of ancient pilgrims.
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. . The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul” and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions . Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” , a sentiment echoed equally today.