Goodwin Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a patronymic or baptismal last name meaning “the son of Godwin”, deriving from the medieval primarily English or Teutonic personal (first) name Godwin or Godewyn, meaning “friend of God”, deriving from the Old English words god (god) and wine (friend). The name was popularized in the Middle Ages by Godwin, the Earl of Essex, who lived in the 1000s AD and was an advisor to the father of King Harold II, known as Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, born in Wessex. In Ireland, Godwin is synonyms for O’Dea in Connacht, for MacGoldrick in Tyrone, and MacGuigan in Derry and Tyrone. The name was first established in East Anglia, Norfolk, and Yorkshire, in England, which was later Great Britain or present day the United Kingdom in the British Isles of Europe. It is one of a few surnames that remained popular after the Norman Invasion of 1066 AD, as the Norman-French suppressed many Anglo-Saxon surnames.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Goodwyn, Goodwing, Goodwine, Godwin, Godwyn, Goodwain, Goodwinn, Goodwein, Goodwien, and about 150 others.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Goodwin ranks 415th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following three states: Maine, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The surname Goodwin frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (274th), Scotland (543rd), Wales (248th), Ireland (1,169th) and Northern Ireland (754th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Rutland. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Dunbartonshire. In Wales, it ranks highest in county Radnorshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Monaghan. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Fermanagh. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (792nd), New Zealand (270th), Australia (301st), and South Africa (1,445th). The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: “The principal home of this name is in Staffordshire, and in the adjacent counties of Derby and Cheshire. Besides its home in the midlands, it has a less important centre in Kent”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
One of the first recorded instances of this last name was one Walter Goodwin, who was documented in the Pipe Rolls of county Norfolk, England in 1174 AD. In 1206 AD, William Goodswein was documented in county Lincoln, England.
The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists six bearers of this surname: Lucas filius Godwin (Cambridgeshire), Alice filius Godewine (Oxfordshire), Hugh filius Godewin (Salop), William filius Godewynie (Norfolk), John Godwin (Oxfordshire), and William Godewyn (Lincolnshire). Roger Gudswen was documented in 1320 AD. William Godeswayne was documented in Worcester in 1327 AD. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists one bearer of this last name: Willelmus Godewyn and Johannes Godewyn. The Register of the University of Oxford lists one William Godewyn in 1448. Some early baptisms involving this surname was John, son of John Goodwyn, at St. James Clerkenwell in 1567 AD., and Elizabeth, daughter of William Goodwin, at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey in 1550 AD. An early marriage involving this surname was Henry Goodwin to
The book The Surnames of Scotland by George Fraser Black states the following in regard to this surname: “Godwin, dapifer, and Godwin, camerarius of the bishop, witnessed a quitclaim by Robert, bishop of St. Andrews, 1127. Thomas Goodwyn, brother of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in 1414, appears again in 1426 as Thomas Gudewyne, brother of the order of St. John of Jerusalem”.
Goodwin Family Tree & Goodwin Genealogy
Goodwin of Hinchleywood
The lineage or ancestry of this family begins with Thomas Gladwin, who was born around 1605 and lived in Boythorpe, county Derby, England (modern day United Kingdom). He had a son named also named Thomas, who married Helen and had issue with her inclkuding Lemuel and Henry. His son Henry Gladwin married Mary, daughter of Digby Dakeyne of Stubbing Edge, and had four children with her as follows: Henry, John, Mary (married Benjamin Brocklehurst), and Dorothy (married Reverend Basil Beridge). His son Henry was born in 1730 and was an Esquire of Stubbing Court who served with great distinction in America and became a Major General in the army. In 1762, he married Frances, daughter of Reverend John Beridge, and had 10 children with her as follows: Charles Dakeyene (of Belmont and Stubbing, Lieutenant Colonel of the Derbyshire Militia, married Ms. Stringer, had a daughter named Frances), Frances (married Francis Goodwin of Mapleton, son of John, and had issue named Henry John, Frances, Mary Ridgeway, and Martha Elizabeth), Dorothy (married Joshua Jebb of Walton Lodge), Mary (married Baldwin Duppa Duppa of Hollingbourne House), Ann (married William Turbutt of Ogston Hall), Charlotte (married Reverend George Hutton of Sutterton), Martha, Harriet, Ellen, and Susannah. His estates went to his grandson Henry. This grandson was Reverend Henry John Goodwin of Hinchleywood, county Derby, who was born in 1803. In 1832, he married Frances Eleanora, daughter and heiress of Reverend Richard Burrow Turbutt, and had issue with her as follows: Richard Henry, Frances Isabella Turbutt (married Reverend John Launcelto Errington, son of George H. of Lexden Park), and Helen Emelia (married Arthur Finch Dawson of Barrow Hill, county Stafford, England). His son Richard Henry Goodwin was an Esquire of Hinchleywood House, county Derby, England, a Justice of the Peace, and a Captain of the 6th Foot who was born in 1833 and educated at Harrow. The Goodwin Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Goodwin Family Crest by those unfamiliar with heraldry and genealogy) is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Or, a fess between six lions’ heads erased gules. Crest: A griffin sejant wings expanded or. Motto: Fide et virtute. This branch of the Goodwin family tree was seated at Hinchleywood House, Ashbourne.
Other Goodwin Pedigree and Family Trees
Sir Roger de la Roche (born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1316 AD)
Sir John de la Roche (born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1342 AD)
Sir Roch Roche or Goodwin (born in Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire, England in 1378 AD)
Sir Vincent Sufleete Goodwin or Godwyn (born in Blodfield, Norfolk, England in 1385 AD)
John Goodwin (born in Blofield in 1425 AD). He married Alice Beverly and had issue with her as follows: William, Poss William, Edmond, Thomas, and William. His son William was born in Blofield around 1480. He married Margery Swane and had issue with her as follows: John, William Jr., Roger, and John. His son John “The Elder” Goodwin was born in England in 1510. He married Alice Agnes and had the following issue with her: Ciceley (Cook), Thomas, John, Franics, Myles, Elizabeth, Edmund, James, and Joan. His son Francis was born in Hemblington, Nornworth, England in 1544. He married Katherine (surname not known) and Joan Lynes. He had numerous children as follows: John, Susan, Thomas, Mary, Margaret (Page), Susan, Sampson, John, James, Mary, Sadie, Francis, Elizabeth, Peter, and Elias. His son John was born in Ranworth, Engloand in 1570 and he married twice: Elizabeth Kypping and Bridget Beckyt.
William Goodwin was born in North Burlingham, Norfolk, England in 1490. He married a woman named Margery and had a son with her named Richard. This Richard was born in the same town in 1509. He married a woman named Thomasine and had three issue with her: Alice, Ann, and John. His son John was born in Northy Berlyngham, England in 1555. He married Elizabeth Woodgate and had a son with her named Daniel. This Daniel Goodwin Sr. was born in Suffolk, England in 1600 and he married Dorothy Chapman (Barker) and fathered four sons with her as follows: Richard, Edmund, Daniel Jr. and Stephen. His son Daniel Jr. was born in East Bergholt, England in 1620 and he went to colonial America, arriving in Virginia, and married Margaret Spencer in Maine in 1653 and later Sarah Saunders in Berwick, Maine in 1694. He had the following issue: David, Adam, James, Patience (Stone), Daniel, William, Moses, Thomas Sr., Elizabeth (Hubbard), and Sarah (Barron). His sons had issue:
1) James born in Kittery, Maine in 1652, had issue: Richard Sr., John, James, Ham, Mary (Lord), Sarah, Adam, and Thomas
2) Daniel born in Kittery, Maine in 1656, had issue: Margaret (Hodson), Daniel, Nathaniel, Amy, Miles, Samuel, James, Thomas, Sarah, and Ann.
3) William born in Kittery, Maine in 1658, had issue: Elizabeth (Gray), Moses, William, John, Margaret (Frost), Elizabeth, Hannah (Hearl), Adam, Taylor, and Mary (Libby).
4) Moses born in Berwick, ME in 1660, had issue: Patience, Abigail, Martha, Mary, Phoebe, Margaret, Aaron Sr., Elizabeth, and Moses II.
5) Thomas Sr. born in Kittery, Maine in 1660, had issue: James, Thomas, Mehitable (Butler), Icabod, Mehitable, Olive, Mary, and Bial.
Thomas, son of Thomas, was born in South Berwick, Maine in 1697. He married Elizabeth Butler and had issue with her as follows: Thomas, Olive, Elisha, Elisha Thomas Sr., Moses, Elizabeth, Mary, Reuben, James, Daniel, Charity, and Mollie. His son Elisha Goodwin was born in the same town in 1726 and he married Sarah Lord, fathering the following children with her: Robert, Mehitable, Elisha, Patty, Thomas, Daniel, Jeremiah, Olive, Sarah, and Elizabeth. His son Daniel was born in Berwick, Maine in 1749 and he married Sarah Hobbs, having the following children with her: Nathaniel, Daniel, Sarah, Daniel, Elisha, Anna, Thomas, Morris, Moses, Olive, Jeremiah, Elizabeth, James, and Rosanna. His son Elisha Goodwin was born in Eliot, Maine in 1776. He married Anna Libby and had children with her named Nathan Libby, Nathaniel, Anna, Jemima Libby, Elisha Jr., Thomas, and Daniel. His son Daniel was born in the same city in Maine in 1804 and married twice: Hannah Jenkins and later Mary Nason. He had the following children: Anna, Nathan Nason, Daniel Albert, Marshall, Elisha, and Franklin. His son Daniel Albert Goodwin was born in Eliot, Maine in 1832 and he married Mary Abigail Lord. He passed away in 1916.
Early American and New World Settlers
Mary Goodwin, age 18, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the John of London in October 1635.
John Goodwene came to Virginia aboard the Friendship of in March 1636.
Marie Goodwyn, age 20, came to the Island of Providence aboard the Expedition in April 1635.
Thomas Goodwyn, age 30, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the Mathew in May 1635.
Jane Goodwyn, age 20, came to St. Christopher’s aboard the John in October 1635.
William Goodwynn was recorded in New England in June 1632.
Reinold Goodwyn was recorded as living in Virginia in February 1623 in Elizabeth City.
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions eleven bearers of this last name:
1) Adam Goodwin of Providence, Rhode Island, 1641, had come home with John Moulton of Ormsby, in county Norfolk, as his servant, 1637, embarked at Yarmouth
2) Christopher Goodwin of Charlestown, 1676, whi was a freeman in 1677, who married Mercy or Mary, daughter of William Crouch, and had issue named Elizabeth (1659), Timothy (1662), Mary and Hannah (1676), and Mercy (1680).
3) Daniel Goodwin of Berwick, kept an inn there in, 1662
4) Edward Goodwin of Boston, Massachusetts, 1641, a freeman the name year, a boatman by trade, married Elizabeth and had a daughter of the same name. He died in 1694.
5) Edward Goodwin of Salisbury, 1667, a shipwright by trade, who in 1668, married Susanna Wheeler of Newburg, likely had children.
6) John Goodwin of Charlestown, married in 1669, Martha, the daughter of Benjamin Lathrop, and had children with her named Nathaniel (1672), Martha (1674), John (1677), Mercy (1681). He moved to Boston. He perhaps had other issue as follows: John, Benjamin (1683), Hannah (1687), and Elizabeth (1694). He died in 1712.
7) John Goodwin of Reading, an early settler in colonial America
8) Ozias Goodwin of Hartford, born in 1596, brother of William, had issue named William (1629), Nathaniel (1637), and Hannah. He died around 1683.
9) Richard Goodwin of Gloucester, in 1666, married Hannah Jones and had issue names Hannah (1667), Richard (1669), Thomas (1672), Mary (1675), and Eleanor (1680).
10) Richard Goodwin of Amesbury who in 1667 married Mary Fowler of Salisbury
11) William Goodwin of Cambridge, England, came to Boston aboard the Lion in 1632, and was a freeman who became a representative two years later. He then moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and was a “friend of famous Hooker”. He later moved to Hadley and then Farmington. He had a wife named Susanna and one child, Elizabeth, who married John Crow. He passed away in 1673.
Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include Edwin Goodwin (Maryland 1731) and Catherine Goodwin (1770). In Australia, one of the earliest bearers of this last name was William Goodwin, a convict from Kent, England who came aboard the Almorah in 1817 and settled in New South Wales, which was then a penal colony. A one Edward Goodwin, a carpenter by trade, came to Van Diemen’s Land (modern day Tasmania) around 1830. In New Zealand, a family of this surname came to Port Nicholson in 1841 aboard the Slains Castle, the husband being Henry Goodwin, a stock keeper by trade, age 49 and the wife being Elizabeth, age 43. They brought the their children with them as well including James, Jane, and George, all under the age of 17.
Here is another Goodwin pedigree or family lineage:
Richard Goodwin I (born in Great Yarmouth, England between 1310-1370 AD)
Richard Goodwin (born in Aldersgate Street, London, St. Sepulchre’s in 1375 AD)
Josselyn Goodwin (born in London, England in 1405 AD)
Robert (born in Norfolk, England around 1435 AD)
William (born in Buckinghamshire in 1470 AD)
John (born in Buckinghamshire, England around 1500 AD)
Henry (born in Buckinghamshire around 1530 AD)
Robert Henry Goodwin (born in London around 1560 AD)
Peter (born in London, England around 1603 AD)
Major James Goodwin (born in London, Middlesex, England in 1621, went to colonial America)
Peter (born in Back Creek, Virginia in 1656, had brothers named Matthew and Robert)
James (born in Hampton Parish, Virginia in 1704)
Edward (born in Queen Anne Parish, Maryland in 1735)
Francis H. Goodwin (born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1760)
Nathaniel Harrison Goodwin (born in Harrison County, West Virginia in 1801)
John Ashbury Goodwin (born in same county in 1826)
Nathan McKinley Goodwin (born in Fetterman, West Virginia in 1854)
Bessie E. Rietz (born in McMehan, WV in 1894, died in 1982 in Lake Worth, Florida)
Early Americans Bearing the Goodwin Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains seven entry for this surname:
1) Argent a lion pass sable. On a chief or 3 fusils in less gules. Crest: a stag trippant or. Motto: Virtute et labore. Bookplate Frank Goodwin, Capt. Mass. Volunteers. S. D., sc., 1804.
2) [Gules] 2 bars [or] bet 6 lozenges argent 3, 2, 1. Impaling: Quart 1 and 4: A bend; 2 and 3: 2 bars (?).On tomb of Rachel, wife of James Goodwin, Goodwin’s Neck, York Co., Va., 1666. Very dim; a lozenge, a bend and 2 bars still exist. Wm. & Mary Quar., July, 1893, p. 25; Oct 1893, p. 84.
3) Or a fess gules between 6 lions’ heads erased of the 2nd, 3 and 3 in fess. Crest: a griffin sejant. Bookplate Chamn Goodwin, S. C.
4) Or 2 lions pass guard sable. On a canton of the last [3 bezants]. Crest: a demi-lion ramp guard sable holding in the paws [a bezant]. Arms on notepaper of Alice D. Goodwin, Sunnyslope, Lexington, Mass.
5) [Or] two lions ramp sable on a canton of the second three bezants. Crest: a lion of the field. Arms dated 1702, engraved on a silver snuff box owned by Daniel Ringe or Rindge of Ipswich, Mass. ( 1661-1714), now owned by Arthur Rindge Wendell, Church St., Rahway, N. J.
6) Per pale or and gules a lion rampant between 3 fleurs-de-lis, all counterchanged. Crest: a demi-lion. Bookplate “Goodwin”.
7) [Sable?] a lion passant [or?] on a chief or 3 mascles voided gules. Crest: a stag trippant. Engr. on a tankard made by Paul Revere, owned 1916 by Lovell Little, Brookline, Mass. Marked on ribbon “Joseph Goodwin.” Crest on cover.
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains two entries for this name:
1) Major James Goodwin of York County, Virginia. Per pale gules and or, a lion rampant between three fleurs-de-lis counterchanged.
2) Daniel Goodwin of Kittery, Maine, 1652. Or, a fesse between six lions’ heads erased gules. Crest: A griffin sejant, wings expanded or, guttee de poix.
Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) does not contain an entry for this name.
I have identified three Goodwin family mottoes:
1) Fide et virtute (By fidelity and valour)
2) De bon volore (Of good will)
3) Lilia candorem pectus Leo noblle monstrat (Lilies show a bright white, the lion a noble heart)
We have 23 coats of arms for the Goodwin surname depicted here. These 23 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Goodwin Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Goodwin Family Crest) include:
1) John Goodwin of count Bucks, confirmed 1550 or 1559
2) John Goodwin of Surrey, England, 1565 or 1566
3) John Goodwin of E. Grinsted, Surrey, Esquire, confirmed 12 November 1597 by Camden
4) Robert Godwyn of Portisberry, Somerset, crest 10 May 1553 by Hawley
5) Thomas Godwin of London, confirmed 1556
6) Thomas Goodwin of London by G. Dethick
7) William Goodwyn of Bucking, Salop or Essex, coat and crest, Barker’s Grants
8) William Goodwyn of Wells, Somerset, England (modern day United Kingdom), gentleman, granted by 20 February around 1554 by G. Dethick
There are hundreds of notable people with the Goodwin surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Alfred Theodore Goodwin (1923) who was the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1988-1991 and was a judge on said circuit dating back to 1971, having also served as a Captain in the US Army during World War II, born in Bellingham, Washington, 2) Carte Patrick Goodwin (1974) who was a US Senator from West Virginia in 2010 who was born in Mount Also, 3) Ichabod Goodwin (1794-1882) who was the 27th Governor of New Hampshire from 1859-1861, born in Berwick, Massachusetts, a member of the Republican Party, 4) John Goodwin Tower (1925-1991) who was a Republican Center for Texas from 1961-1985, who led the Tower Commission which investigated into Iran-Contra Affair, born in the city of Houston, 5) John Benjamin Goodwin (1850-1921) who was the Mayor of Atlanta from 1883-1885 and again from 1893 to 1895, 6) John Noble Goodwin (1824-1887) who was an attorney who served as the 1st Governor of Arizona Territory, born in South Berwick, Maine, 7) Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Herbert John Chapman Goodwin (1871-1960) who was the 14th Governor of Queensland, Australia from 1927-1932, 8) F. Bill Goodwin (1942) who was an American jazz drummer born in Los Angeles, California, 9) William Shields Goodwin (1866-1937) who was a member of the US House of Representatives from Arkansas from 1911-1921, and 10) Betty Roodish Goodwin (1923-2008) who was a Canadian sculptor, print maker, and painter who was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.