Lineage of the Goodwin & Bishop Families: Our History...Our Story

Lineage of the Goodwin & Bishop Families: Our History...Our Story

Welcome to my web site! Many hours of work have been put into the research and documentation of these ancestors. I hope you will benefit from the information I present here.

The GOODWIN Family Reunion's were held in Jacksonville, FL for twelve (12) connsecutive years 1991-2003 by myself, William Jeffrey GOODWIN, and Jewel Myrtice GOODWIN Cooley's family, before moving to Brunswick, GA and hosted by Marilyn MOBLEY Floyd, daughter of Lora Mae GOODWIN Mobley 2004-2007.
Much of the information presented here was obtained from different family decendents of William Monoe GOODWIN & Sarah Agnew GRAY during those gatherings. I have diligently strived to verify all information. If you have any questions or comments please contact me by email or phone. (WJG 5 Apr 2010)

"Fide et virtute"

The generations of the Goodwin family have grown up from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name Goodwin comes from the baptisimal name for the son of Godwin. Documents such as the Domesday Book have survived for 1000 years, providing us with excellent material with which to trace the history of a surname. Extensive study of these ancient records reveal this surname, Goodwin, to be of Anglo-Saxon origin. The first record of the Goodwin surname was found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very early times.

During research it was noted that the Goodwin surname was spelled in different ways including Godwin, Goodwin, Goodin, Gooding, Goodings, Goodwyn, Godwyn, Godwine, Goodwine, Goddwin, Goddwyn, Goodywne. Goodwine, and these variations would occur even in reference to the same person. In order to explain this phenomenon we must look back to some of the earliest documents written in English. In the 14th century Geoffrey Chaucer, author of Canterbury tales, would spell "told" as "ytold" and "tolde" because at this time spelling rules did not truly exist.

The history of the Anglo-Saxons gives us insight into the early origins of people bearing the Goodwin surname. The Saxons were originally from Germany and began to settle in southeastern England in about the year 400 A.D. The Angles, another Teutonic tribe, occupied the east coast, north of the Saxons. The Angle and Saxon cultures became intertwined as time passed.

After centuries of dominance the Anglo-Saxons lost power after a number of invasions. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy claimed the throne of England and brought an army to enforce his claim. Norman success was confirmed at the Battle of Hastings. However, despite this change of leadership, the culture of England as a whole was an Anglo-Saxon culture.

During this period the Goodwin family was found in York. The Godwin surname was first recorded as the name of a Tenant in Chief in 1086 in the Domesday Book. The Goodwin name also became a common name for a monk as it literally meant, "Good Friend." Though one member of the name, Ricardus filius Godwin settled in Yorkshire in 1219, the family became almost exclusively south midlands. Roger Godin was registered in Cambridgeshire in 1273 and William Godin was registered in Oxford in the same year. William Goodwin established lands and estates in Sussex in 1327, and in the same year another William Goodwin purchased substantial property in Worcestershire. Charles Goodwin Esquire is the most famous family of this era and his descendants were acknowledged as the Lords of Arlscot in Warwickshire. By the mid-1500's the family held lands in Buckingham, Hertford, Middlesex, and Surrey. Distinguished members of the family include Godwin of York.

The medieval period was an era of change and uncertainty in England; conflicts occurred often, but tended to be localized to one region. Later, the succession of the Stuarts witnessed the beginning of political problems which affected people on a much wider scale. Conflicts between the king and parliament, and between the Catholics and the Protestants, along with plague and the great fire in London, made the 17th century a turbulent time.

Families settled in Ireland for a variety of reasons. Some went voluntarily, while others were exiles. In Ireland, Captain William Goodwin received a military burial at Christ Church in Dublin in 1597. The name became quite numerous in Ulster in later years.

The problems at home forced many families to consider beginning a new life in the Americas. Yet the New World presented difficulties never faced before. Unfamiliar soils, climate, and diseases meant that colonists has to adapt or perish. Several of the early English attempts at colonizing North America met with disaster.

Migrants bearing the Goodwin surname, or a variant spelling of this name, include Adam Goodwin who landed in Providence, Rhode Island in 1641, and Daniel Goodwin who kept an Inn at Berwick, in 1662; John Godwen settled in Virginia in 1650; Daniel Godwin settled in Virginia in 1635; Eliza Godwin settled in Bermuda in 1850; John Godwin settled in Pennsylvania in 1850; Mrs. Goodwin settled in Boston Mass in 1632; Christopher Goodwin settled in Charlestown Mass in 1640; Edwin Goodwin settled in Maryland in 1731. The family also settled in New York, Barbados, California, and Rhode Island in the 19th century; Ann Goodin settled in Boston Mass in 1637; another Ann Goodin settled in Jamaica in 1684; Samuel and William Goodin settled in Philadelphia Pa. in 1860 and 1875 respectively; Enoch Gooding settled in Boston Mass. In 1766 with his wife and two children; George Gooding settled in Pennsylvania in 1685; Joane Gooding settled in Virginia in 1670; Joseph Gooding settled in Nevis in 1670; Margaret Gooding settled in America in 1754 followed by William in 1766.

Settlers began to increasingly look westward, as opportunities arose. In America, the Homestead Act (1862) offered 160 acres of land for a minimal fee; while in Canada, the Dominion Lands Act (1872) offered 160 acres to any male over the age of 21 for a ten dollar registration fee.

Individuals bearing this surname, Goodwin, have continued to distinguish themselves in recent times. Among them: Albert Goodwin, Historian and Educator; Sir Reginald Goodwin, leader of the English Labour Party; and Michael Goodwin, an English publisher and writer; Air Vice Marshall Keith Horace Gooding, C.B. O.B.E.; Alfred Cecil Goodings, M.B.E., Director of Textile Research, Ontario Research Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Motto for the Coat of Arms translates as: By fidelity and valour.

Hall of Names
3rd of April 2011
Certificate #2878620112523
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bullet  Individual Report for William Jeffrey Goodwin
bullet  Surname List
bullet  Index of Names

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Jeff Goodwin
140 Willow Springs Lane
Stockbridge, GA 30281-6228

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