Godfrey / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Godfrey
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Godfrey
included Godfree, Godfreed, Godfreyson, O'Gohery and Gohery. This name was introduced to France by the Norsemen and from there it spread to England, Scotland, Wales and beyond. The famous 'Godfrey of Lorraine' was a crusader who popularised the name. Godfrey is thus a name of Anglo-Norman descent and is found in many ancient manuscripts. Examples of such are a Peter Godfrey of Norfolk who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls' in England in the year 1273. A Willemus Godefray was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. In Scotland a John Godfrason was recorded as a witness to a quitclaim on the lands of Gladsmure in the year 1427. In Ireland the name Godfrey can be of immigrant origin, especially in Ulster, but is also an anglicized form of several Gaelic sept names. The MacGothraidh sept were a branch of the Maguires of Fermanagh while the O'Gothraidh sept was located in Counties Tipperary and Offaly. Both of these Gaelic septs anglicized their native names to Godfrey as well as MacCorry, MacGorry, Gohery and Geoghery.The Godfrey
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Godfrey