Goodricke Family History

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Gooodrick, Goodricke, Goodryke, Godric, Goodericke,Guderyke, Family History Centre was created to allow People to give and receive information about the Goodrick`s from very remote times to date.
 Where to begin? Well I think that we should look at the name first Lets start with the origin. The name Godric is SAXON and the earliest spelling I have found is Godric, the family of names possibly switched to being surnames by being preceded by the Latin “filius”, to mean “son of”. For example, some of the earliest recorded versions of names closely similar to “Goodrick”, can be found in Lincolnshire records, we know a Thomas Godric had a son John who was recorded as John Godericke and subsequent spellings from the same family are Godericke, Goodericke, Goodrike, Goodricke, other records show
Godric Castle, named after its owner, Godric Mappeston, this is first mentioned in a document dated 1101-02, a Goodrick of Cunningsby in 1066, a man named Gaufridus filius Godrici in 1207 and so on. According to “A Dictionary of English Surnames” by P.H. Reaney & R.M. Wilson all the above derived from the Old English 'Godric', the meaning of which is signifying God’s jurisdiction, tribal leader or good, or God like leader. It is mentioned by Bede, Ingulphus,
and other historians of the Saxon times, and is inscribed upon several Old Saxon coins not as the leader of a nation but as the "moneyer" or striker of the coin see Godric the Moneyer in the home page. Saxons came from North Western Germany along with Angles Frisians and Jutes, about 450AD? Lead by Hengist and Horsa. Although resent research suggests that some members of Saxon  tribes may have been here some fifty years earlier as traders, small raiding parties to aggravate the Roman occupying and settling in the more isolated areas. By 450 AD the Saxons were here in some number. Any way their arrival on the Kent coast with three long ships loaded with fighting men was not initially an invasion force, or the first Saxons to come. Venerable Bede's  story says, they came by invitation. Vortigern, originally a local Welsh king, ruled much of the south of England stretching as far east as Kent . He became very concerned at the anarchy in the northern parts of the country and the growing danger from the Picts now that the Roman Army had gone. Vortigern offered a grant of land on the Isle of Thanet in return for the military services of Hengist and Horsa in the protection of that part of the coast. They did repel an enemy attack but also found them to be a cowardly lot, according to the Venerable Bede (Lat.: Beda Venerabilis) in his eighth century “History of the English Church and People” (remember his story was written some two hundred years after the events portrayed.) The Saxons therefore sent messages to their friends and relations at home telling how easy it was to loot and take land. This lead to a clash with Vortigan in which Horsa was killed, but Hengist soon took over the whole of Kent . Angles from Schleswig-Holstein and Saxons from the region between the Elbe and the Rhine now arrived in force. The Saxons established themselves in Essex, Middlesex , Sussex , and Wessex- East, Middle South and West Saxons, while the Angles occupied Norfolk and Suffolk , North Folk and South Folk. At the same time they were pushing further inland up the navigable reaches of the Thames, the Trent , the Ouse and the Humber with small squadrons of ships whose crews became the founders of new communities. Lighter craft found their way across the Fens , which were reverting back to swamp land since being abandoned by the Romans, to firmer ground beyond. Although the Angles gave their name to the country, Angle-Land becoming England , they were by no means the dominant partners. In spite of inter-tribal strife, the Angles, Saxons, Frisians and Jutes shared a common background and culture, which make it reasonable to refer to this strain in our ancestry as Anglo-Saxons.  

I have contented myself that the Godric or Goodrick family settled in the south of England in the very early days and had spread and become prosperous farmers and traders, the family wealth coming from wool trading. This continued for a great number of generations in the late 1400s and early 1500s Goodrick`s were members of the staple trading not only here (Boston England) but in

Calais France.


Merchant marks attributed to Lionel Goodrick above can be seen at High Hall built about 1549 East Kirkby Co. Lincolnshire above the front door. In the Late Medieval period in England and Flanders Merchant marks (or "identity marks") were widely used by European merchants for centuries, traders and artisans alike. Originally employed by traders to mark their merchandise for shipping or sale (in some respects anticipating corporate logos), these marks were later claimed as personal marks in ways comparable to heraldic devices. Late medieval England and Flanders saw a huge proliferation of these marks with the increasing importance of trade. A wide variety can be found of late medieval merchant marks, (see Merchants Marks by Edward Mars Elmhirst, TD., MS., F.R.C.S. London 1959) as they appear on seals and signet rings, glass windows, monumental brasses, devotional books, miscellanies, paintings, and other media. Late-medieval representations of merchants in literature and visual arts indicate a widespread fascination (or frustration) with the proliferation of their marks. Moreover, the sheer variety of forms these marks could take (rebus-like configurations, splicing with heraldic devices, coexistence with ecclesiastical or guild iconography) suggests that the merchant classes did not necessarily seek to assume aristocratic trappings. So back to Godric I am now confident, however, that a diligent search would be successful by means of our National records in tracing the Godric, Goodrick family back to very remote times. It appears from the visitation of Robert Glover, Somerset herald that the family flourished for several generations at NORTINGLEY (Norton by Leigh) (It was assumed I think at transcribing by Burke that this was County Somerset may be because it was the Somerset herald how ever not necessarily so) certainly the family were present in Chilcompton, Co. Somerset in very early times. Subsequent research shows that this may have been Norton by Leigh Co. Gloucestershire. So we have Henry moving into Lincolnshire at the time of his marriage, with heiress, the daughter of Thomas Stickford, Esq., of Co. Lincoln, and Henry being the third son of Robert Goodrick, of Norton by Leigh Co. Gloucestershire? Mid-Late 12th century. John Goodryke of Bolingbroke who died in 1493 was the fifth in descent from this Henry and it is this John that we can trace an unbroken male line back to. Now the Goodrick family was seated in Lincolnshire at a much earlier date than the arrival of Henry. So perhaps Henry had a family introduction to his bride (I would point out that is speculation). For instance, we have Goodrick of Cunningsby, who had been a senior member of the community at Wildmore for some forty years, who acted as an arbitrator for the Soke of Horncastle and Scrivelsby in a dispute between the Barons of Bolingbroke, Horncastle, and Scrivelsby, soon after the Norman Conquest 1066. From the Subsidy Rolls, temp. Edward III. 1333, it appears that a Goodrick family was settled at Bennington, Co. Lincoln . At this point I will explain how with some differences in the spelling of the family name have been over come by the simple use of heraldry.  

We have some of the earliest recorded heraldry and with some known family members we can say that from about the mid 12th century we can identify the family with some accuracy. The basic arms for Goodrick have not changed much, apart from what are known as differences to distinguish between family members, quartering, to show the union of marriage husband in the first followed by the wife's father's Arms in the second this has been recorded for some 800 years, this simplifies it a bit, but it is very accurate and well recorded in old family pedigrees and at the Collage of Arms in London by the Heralds visitations and so on.

This is why we can with some certainty say that if we know the Arms, we know which family they belong to (see Development of Goodrick Heraldry) e.g. the Goodrich family have entirely different coat armour to that of Goodrick. We find the same or very similar Arms recorded under several different spellings none of which are Goodrich.

Very early Godric`s in the region, we have an even more remote Godric, two in fact, Abbot Godric at Crowland Abby one in 869ad and the other Godric of Burgh was head of the Monastery from 1005ad to 1018ad, Listed in “The Crowland Chronicle.” We have a few Godric`s that have fore names or Christian names Thomas and John that can be connected to the Goodrick families but at this point it becomes harder to find connections as we find the form changing to for e.g. Godric of Scrivelsby, Godric brother of Eadnoth Godric son of AElfhelm the younger Godric the Justice and so on, as explained at the beginning of this work, all listed in “The Saxon Charters” until we get as on the very early Saxon coin just Godric. The Saxon Charters and the Saxon Chronicles have been translated on a number of occasions by scholars of note the former The Saxon Charters by Thorpe published in 1919-1920, would offer a great deal for further investigation but I would say that the translations are not incompatible, our knowledge is increasing with more resent study and hopefully we will be able to gain a better insight into the Saxon Godric.

 It would seem to point from the confirmation charter of the Confessor that the Godric name was then set to continue with its variations to date with the modern fore name e.g. Thomas followed by the now called surname Godric or Goodrick. Further study is being carried out by me and commissioned scholars into this very interesting part of our family history.

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Michael B Goodrick