This unusual and interesting name is both English and to some extent French, although again of Germanic origins! It was created from the pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon given name "Godebert", composed of the elements "god", meaning good, and "berht", bright or famous. As such the name was also popular with the Norman-French, and they popularized it further after the Conquest of 1066, when in most cases, names associated wioth Saxon England were consiered not to be 'politically correct', and were largley abandoned. As a personal name it is one of the earliest ever recorded, with one Godbryt being recorded in the city of Exeter in the reign of King Canute (1016 - 1035). The later surname development included recordings such as William Godebrich in Essex in 1262, Gilbert Godebrith of Suffolk in 1327, and John Gobard of Staffordshire in 1335. The modern surname can be found as Godbert, Gobert, Gobbet, and Gobbett, with Edward Gobbett being christened in London in August 1667, and the marriage of Edmund Gobbett and Dinah Walker being recorded at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, on December 26th 1682. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Godbert. This was dated 1200, The Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire, 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.
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