This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins and modern-day bearers of the name are equally likely to be descended from either source. The first of these is a mainly southern English source, from the medieval personal name "Godechild", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century, "Godcild", from "god", good and "cild", child. The name may also have been used in the Middle Ages as a nickname for a good person. The second source for the modern surname is from a medieval nickname for someone who was the godchild of an important member of the community and this is suggested by the first recording of the name as below. One Richard Goodchild and his son "Chirstmas" were early settlers in Virginia, bieng recorded there in 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Goddechild which was dated 1211, The Curia Rolls, Essex. during the reign of King John "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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