There is an opinion that this surname is Scottish, but that is not so. That there are Scottish "Goodreids" is beyond argument, but the name itself is Norse-Viking. It derives from the pre 9th Century "Gudraed", which literally translates as "Red God", which no doubt accounts for its early popularity as a surname. The spelling alternatives include Goodread, Goodred, and Goodered, all with plural patronymic forms such as Goodreds, and the occasional Goodredson. The name appears in the 1088 Domesday Book in its original baptismal form, as Godred of Yorkshire, although the surname is much later (see below). Anglo-Saxon names were not popular in general with the conquering Norman-French; however, as the Normans were themselves former "Norsemen" (hence their name), "Viking" names did survive the Conquest, and thus passed into the surname period from circa 1200 on. Examples of early recordings include Alexander Goodered of Kent in the 1325 Fines Courts lists, and William Goodrede of Yorkshire in the 1425 Friary Rolls. Later recordings are those of Dorothie Goddroyd (as spelt) christened at Dewsbury, Yorkshire, on February 2nd 1592, and Samuel Goodreid, a christening witness at St. John's Church, Preston, Lancashire, on March 17th 1864, in the reign of Queen Victoria, (1837 - 1901). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ysabell Godrid, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", 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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