This picturesque surname is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of Godbold, itself from a Norman personal name "Godebald", composed of the Germanic elements "god", good, or "got", god, with "bald", bold or brave. In the modern idiom the variants include Godbold, Godball, Gobat and Goble. The following examples illustrate the name development from 1086, before the name was used as a surname, Godeboldus (Domesday Book, 1086). Adam Filius Godboldi (Essex) and after 1206 (see below). Henry Gobaud (1242, Fees of Devon), John Gobant (1316, Warwickshire), John Godebold (1317, Fees) and John Godball (1485). Amongst the sample recordings in London is the christening of Thomas Godbolt on August 29th 1622 at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Godebald, which was dated 1206, in the "Curia Rolls of Bedfordshire", 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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