This interesting name has two possible origins. The first being a metonymic occupational name for a brewer of good ale, deriving from the medieval English "gode" meaning "good" plus "ale", ale or malt liquor. The surname from this source is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). One Roger Godhal appears in the 1221 Assize Court Rolls of Shropshire and a William Godale in the 1244, Calendar of the Monastery of Ramsey, Bedfordshire. The second distinct possibility is that the name is of locational origin from a place in the West Riding of Yorkshire, originally called Goldale, but now called Gowdall. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "golde", a marigold plus "halh", a nook or recess. One Ricardus de (of) Goldall, is noted in Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire (1379). In 1635, Thomas Goodall married Alice Fluen in St. James' Clerkenwell, London. Among the earliest settlers in the New World were Robert Goodall, aged 30 yrs., and his wife Katherin, aged 28 yrs., who departed from Ipswich aboard the "Elizabeth", bound for New England, in April 1634. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Toka Godala, which was dated 1181, in the "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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