This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century male given name "Godhere" (Middle English "Godere"), a compound of the elements "god", good, and "here", army. Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse personal names were usually distinct compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water and War, or composed of disparate elements. "Godere" (without surname) is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Essex and Suffolk. The surname first appears on record in the early 14th Century (see below), and in 1564, one John Gooder was noted in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Sheffield Manorial Records", Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the surname has five variant spellings: Gooder, Goodere, Gooders, Gouda and Gooda. Recordings of the latter from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Sarah Gooda to John Taylor at Hook, Yorkshire, on December 21st 1729, and the marriage of Charles Gooda to Charlotte Coulson at St. Pancras Old Church, London, on October 25th 1835. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a red shield with a fess between two chevrons vair, the Crest being a partridge holding in the beak an ear of wheat all proper, and the Motto: "Possunt quia posse videntur", "They are able because they seem to be". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Godere, which was dated 1317, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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