This is a locational name of Olde English pre 7th Century origins which derives from "Goda's leah" The Farm of Goda, or from former residence at one of the villages called Goodley, Godley, Godley Bridge or Godley Green in Devon, Cheshire, Surrey and Sussex. The personal name "Goda" translates as "The Good one" presumably a descriptive nickname. The name development includes Hamelinus de Godelee of Cheshire (1307) whilst Willelmus de Godlay appears in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 and much later Margaret Godly was married in London in 1775.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Goddely, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Devon", 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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