- This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the northern Middle English "god(e)", good, with "barn", child. This name was particularly widespread in the counties settled by Scandinavians, and was probably used in the Middle English period as a nickname for a good person. Nicknames were given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and mental or moral characteristics. Early examples of the surname include: Thomas Godbarne (the Yorkshire Fine Court Rolls, 1283); and Willelmus Gudbarn with Isolda Godebarn (the 1379 Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire). In the modern idiom the name has four spelling variations: Goodbairn, Goodban, Goodband and Goodbanne. On April 15th 1566, Peter, son of John Goodbanne, was christened at St. Paul's, Canterbury, Kent, and on August 27th 1682, John Goodban was christened in Ash-near-Sandwich, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Godbarn, which was dated 1203, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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.