This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from a nickname for a congenial companion, derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "gode", good from the Old English pre 7th Century "god", and the Middle English "felaw(e), felagh" from the Old English "feolaga", partner, shareholder; "felaw(e)" was probably used to denote a (fellow) member of a trade guild. This is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to variant of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, habits of dress, and occupation. The modern surname can be found as Goodfellow and Goodfellowe. Among the recordings in London are the christening of Allen, son of John Goodfellow, on August 12th 1599 at St. Laurence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, and the marriage of Christopher Goodfellow and Margaret Feazant on October 21st 1645 at St. Christopher Le Stocks. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Godfelage, which was dated 1192, in the "Pipe Rolls of Northumberland", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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