This is an ancient English name of Anglo-Saxon origin, which has the fairly uncommon distinction of surviving the Norman Conquest and the later influx of Norman names, almost in fact, up to the present day. The surname "Godwin" and its variant forms such as "Godwyn", "Goodwin", "Goodwyn" and the patronymic form "Goodwins", "son of Go(o)dwin", derive from the popular Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Godwine", composed of the elements "god", meaning either "god" or "good", with "wine", friend, protector, lord. "Goodwin" appears in the Domesday book of 1086 as the personal name) "Goduin", and is first recorded as a surname in 1177, in Walter Godwin, listed in the Norfolk Pipe Rolls for that year. Elizabeth Goodwins was christened on the 10th November 1672 at St. Sepulchre, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Godewynes, which was dated 1327, The Worcestershire Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward II, 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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