This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Goodbody, Goodboddyu, Goodbaudy, etc., is a nickname for a good person, deriving from the middle English "gode", "good", plus the old English pre 7th Century "bodig" meaning "person, creature". The surname is comparatively widespread in Ireland, where the earliest known bearer was John Goodbody, living in County Cavan in 1631, During the 18th and 19th Centuries, most members of the Irish family were Quakers who were well known in the industrial life of Ireland and came to County Offaly from Yorkshire.The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Alicia Godbodi (1273), "The Hundred Rolls of London", and John Godbody (1308), "the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire". Church recordings include one Margret Goodboddy who was christened on July 19th 1563 at St. John's, Hackney and Ruhard Goodbody who was also christened on April 29th 1566 also at St. John's, Hackney. Ann, daughter of William and Sibbill Goodbody was christened on March 18th 1620 at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Godbodi, which was dated 1221, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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