The surname of GODFREY was derived from the Old German GODEFRID - God peace - a baptismal name 'the son of Godfrey'. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. Early records of the name mention Godefridus who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Godfridus filius Baldewini was recorded in the year 1138 in County Northumberland. Symon Godefrei of the County of Suffolk was recorded in the year 1221. Peter filius Godfrey of the County of Norfolk was documented in 1273. Willelmus Godefray of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Elizabeth, daughter of Stephen Godfrye was baptised at St. Mary Aldermary, London in 1614. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The pelican depicted in the arms is the emblem of Charity.
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