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Godwin Coat of Arms / Godwin Family Crest

Godwin Coat of Arms / Godwin Family Crest

The surname of GODWIN was a baptismal name 'the son of Godwin' an early font name, although now long forgotten. The name was derived from the Old English word GODWINE, meaning a good friend and protector. The name was probably brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Edward (Eadweard) The Confessor (1042-1066) King of England married Edith (Eadgyth) daughter of GODWIN (GODWINE), Earl of Wessex. This GODWIN actually ran the country, having married his daughter to Edward. After a rift with GODWIN, Edward banished GODWIN's family (1051-2) and brought Normans into high government positions, which antagonized the English. The GODWIN's regained power and drove out many of Edward's Norman advisors. In return for Norman support, Edward had apparently promised England's crown to his great-nephew William of Normandy in 1051, but after GODWIN's death in 1053 Edward relied heavily on GODWIN's son and the royal brother-in-law, Harold. The dying monarch allegedly named Harold his successor. Other records of the name mention GODIN de Bech, 1273 County Cambridge. William GODWINE of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William GODEN, 1379, ibid. GAUDINUS de Aseby, County Lincolnshire, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. The peak of the Himalayas (28,250 ft) high; believed to be the second highest in the world is known as GODWIN Austen.

Arms registered in County Dorset

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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