This interesting and unusual name has two possible meanings and it is either a dialectal variant of "Goodlad", an old name, popular in Scotland, especially in Orkney and Shetland, and a nickname for a trusted servant, from the Middle English "gode", good, with "ladde", a lad or servant; or it may be variant of "Goodlord", like for example the legal "M'lud". The earliest recording of the name in Scotland is of one James Gudlad, the Kings Sheriff, recorded in Fifeshire in 1491. Amongst the sample recordings in London is Elsabeth Goodlad who married John Chapman on January 20th 1547 at St. Margareti, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Godlord, which was dated 1332, in "A descriptive Catalogue of Creative deeds", Warwickshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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