The surname of GOODMAN was a nickname 'the good man' the master of the household. The name was derived from the Old Norman GODMUND, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Godmannus, listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Other records of the name mention Richard Godmund who was documented in the year 1273 in the County of Suffolk. Willelmus Godeman of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The acquisition of surnames in Europe has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people.
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