This interesting surname with variant spellings Goacher, Goucher, Gocher, Goutcher, Gaucher, etc., first appears in Scotland in the mid 14th Century, (see below). The first element in the surname is the Old english pre 7th Century "god" meaning good and the second element is the Middle English "chere" or the Old French "chiere" face. It would have originated as a nickname for one of "good aspect" or "cheerful appearance". Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; William, son of William and Elizabeth Gocher, who was christened on November 16th 1680, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster; John, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Gocher, was christened on May 2nd 1681 in the same place; on January 12th 1691 Henry, son of William and Elizabeth Goatcher, was christened at St. Anne Soho, Westminster; the marriage of James Goatcher to Ann Mardell took place on January 6th 1849, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and Mary Gwendoline, daughter of Arthur and Mary Ann Goatcher, was christened on June 28th 1904, at Kilburn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus dectus Godechere, which was dated 1343, in the "Records of Scotland", during the reign of King David 11 of Scotland, 1329 - 1371. 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.
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