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Goodfellow Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Goodfellow blazon are the leopard’s face and bars gemelles. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and sable.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1. 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 2. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 4. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 5. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 6.

The leopard’s face (sometimes, incorrectly referred to as a leopard’s head occurs very frequently in heraldry 7. Early heraldic artists tended to treat lions and leopards as the same animal, but during the development of British Heraldry the heads of the two creatures have adopted separate, and more realistic forms. Wade would have us associate leopards with warriors, especially those who overcome ”hazardous things by force and courage” 8

The bar is a thin, horizontal stripe across the centre of the shield, usually in groups of two or three (any more and there would be confusion with barry, a treatment of horizontal lines of alternating colours). It is also possible to place decorative edges along bars, typically these are smaller than those found on the major ordinaries like the fess and pale, but have the same design and share the same meanings. Gemel simply means “doubled” 9, so whatever it is applied to appears twice, slightly reduced in size to occupy a similar amount of space to the original. This is different from having “two” of something, and indeed it is possible to have, for example two bars gemel, in which there are two, clearly separated pairs of bars.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Goodfellow Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Goodfellow Origin:


Origins of Goodfellow:

This interesting and uncommon surname is of old English origins. It is, or rather was, a love name for a friendly fellow, the derivation being from the Old English pre 7th-century phrase 'God-feolaga,' the next having the similar meaning of a fellow, and like perhaps used to mention a (fellow) representative of a trading company. It is an example of a large group of old European surnames that were slightly formed from the continual use of nicknames. The nicknames provided in the first example related to the difference of qualities, like physical qualities or characteristics, mental and moral values, or even likeness to an animal's or bird's appearance, as well as styles of dressing. The new surname can appear as Goodfellow and Goodfellowe. According to the early recordings of the remaining parish records of the city of London are the naming of Allen, son of John Goodfellow, in August 1599 at St. Laurence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, and the wedding of Christopher Goodfellow and Margaret Feazant in October 1645 at St. Christopher Le Stocks.


More common variations are: Good-Fellow, Goodfelow, Godfellow, Goodfallow, Goddfellow, Goodfollow.


The origins of the surname Goodfellow were found in Essex where people held a family seat from early times. Someone say better before the success of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings 1066 A.D.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Richard Godfelage, dated about 1192, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland." It was during the time of King Richard 1st, who was known to be the “The Lionheart," dated 1189-1199. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.


Many of the people with surname Goodfellow had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Some of the people with the surname Goodfellow who settled in the United States in the 19th century included William Goodfellow landed in Missouri in 1840. David Goodfellow arrived in Missouri in 1840. James Goodfellow landed in Missouri in 1847. S D Goodfellow, S S Goodfellow, both landed in San Francisco, California in 1851.


Some of the people with the surname Goodfellow who settled in Australia in the 19th century included William Goodfellow, an English prisoner from Staffordshire, who shifted aboard the "Almorah" in April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia. Charles Felix Goodfellow arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas." John Goodfellow arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks." Catherine Goodfellow arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Royal Albert." William Goodfellow arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon."


Some of the people with the surname Goodfellow who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included W Goodfellow landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840. William Goodfellow and Henry Goodfellow, both arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1865

Here is the population distribution of the last name Goodfellow: England 3,291; United States 3,230; Canada 1,986; Australia 902; Scotland 525; Wales 260; New Zealand 227; South Africa 219; Germany 168; Northern Ireland 107.

Notable People:

Charles Augustus Goodfellow (1836–1915), was an English member of the Victoria Cross.

Ebbie Goodfellow (1906–1985), was a Canadian professional ice hockey player.

Geoff Goodfellow (born 1949), is the creator of the wireless communicator that became the Blackberry.

George E. Goodfellow (1855-1910), was an American specialist and expert on gunshot wounds.

Guy Goodfellow was an English interior designer and an old manager of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.

Jimmy Goodfellow (born 1943), is an old English professional footballer and manager.

Marc Goodfellow (born 1981), is an English professional football player.

Peter Neville Goodfellow (born 1951) is a British Biologist.

Walter Goodfellow (1866-1953), was a British Biologist.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Notes: (Inner Temple, London; granted 16 April, 1665). Blazon: Sa. three leopards' faces in fesse betw. two bars gemelles or.
2) Notes: None. Blazon: Sa. on a fesse double cotised or, three leopards' faces of the field. Crest—A horse ramp. gu.

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  • 1 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 2 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 5 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 6 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Lion
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Gemel