- This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible derivations. The first of these is from a female given name, in Old English (pre 7th Century) "Godgifu", composed of the elements "god", good or god, and "gifu", gift, which became "Godere" in Middle English. It is possible that this name has also absorbed another, less common, Old English name with "guth", battle, as the second element. The personal name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Godgeua, Godiua, Godene", becoming "Godeve" and "Godiva". The second possible derivation is from the Middle English term "goodwife", from the Old English "god", good, and "wif", wife, a nickname for a widow or an independent woman. The modern surname can be found as Goodey, Goodee, Gooddy, Goody Goodiff, Goodeve, and Gooday. One John Goodey was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on April 1st 1677. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Godyeue, which was dated 1327, in the "Suffolk Subsidy Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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.